The Netherlands will again remember civilians and soldiers who died in wars since the start of World War II at evening ceremonies all over the country on Wednesday.
‘The essence of commemoration is that you do it together,’ said Gerben van den Berg, from the organisers Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei.
This year’s theme is that of solidarity, and shows, he said, the importance of being together again after two years of coronavirus.
‘But at the same time, there is the shadow cast by the war in Ukraine,’ he told broadcaster NOS.
Some of today’s events will focus specifically on Ukraine. In Almelo, Ukrainian refugee children will sing songs, in Aalsmeer the Ukrainian national anthem will be played and in Lochem residents from Ukraine will lay a wreath at the war memorial.
This year it has become ‘impossible to think “never again” because of what is taking place before our very eyes,’ committee chairman Wim van de Donk told NOS radio.
The main ceremony, at the Dam war memorial in the centre of Amsterdam, will once again attract thousands of people after two low key years because of the coronavirus restrictions.
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King Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima will lay a wreath at the war memorial, along with survivors of WWII, members of the armed forces and family members of those who died.
As well as the main event, which is televisied, there will be hundreds of other ceremonies all over the country to mark different war-related events. Find an event near you.
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