Today it is Liberation Day in the Netherlands and it is also Dutch Heritage Day in Canada Day. We consider 75 years of liberation. Unfortunately, this year due to the Coronavirus it is not possible for many veterans to be at the events, therefore Princess Margriet had a video message special for the Canadian veterans.
In the message, the Princess says that she and her husband were looking forward to the meet the Canadian, but that we still have to be patient until it is safe again. She further points out that Canada showed hospitality to her family during the Second World War and also played an important role in the liberation of the German occupation. She underlines the good relationship between the Netherlands and Canada and talks about the handing over of the ‘Liberation75’ tulip bulbs last year.
She concludes the message with the wish that the hope to meet the Canadian in good health in the near future, in better times. And conclude with a thank you to Canada
This year marks 75 years since World War II ended. In the Netherlands this is commemorated in particular on 4 and 5 May, but attention has also been paid to it in recent months. There were several events in which members of the Dutch royal family participared. An overview
Every year the National 4 and 5 may comittee chosen a theme of the year. This year it was “stories to never forget” Princess Mabel wrote the year theme text. She recited this text 9th of November during a meeting at Leerhotel Het Klooster in Amersfoort. The Princess also give an interview for the Libelle special 75 years of freedom
But what I am most convinced of is that freedom is not built on big beautiful words, but is achieved through small concrete actions. Actions in our own home, our own lives. Actions to prevent conflicts – big or small. Actions to eliminate injustice, inequality and oppression. Actions to let your fellow man know that he or she counts – just like you. Those acts – big and small – form the basis for new stories. Stories to share with each other. Stories that connect us.
Princess Mabel in the text she wrote for the National Comittee 4 and 5 May.
A day later, September 21, Princess Beatrix, together with among other Prince Charles, among others, was present by the commemoration of Opertation Market Garden at Airborne Air Landings and Commemoration in Ede
On October 2 Princess Beatrix attended the 75th commemoration of the Putten Raid
Earlier that month King Willem-Alexander visited Israel in the context of 75 years of liberation. He attended The World Holocaust Forum. This forum was held for the fifth time to commemorate the Holocaust and bring anti-Semitism worldwide under attention. He also visited Yad Vashem’s museum and visited the Dutch care home Beth Juliana
May 4 is the day on which the Netherlands commemorates its victims of war. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were present at the National Commemoration on Dam square in Amsterdam
It was a special commemoration. Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, there was no public. In the company of only Prime Minister Rutte, chairman of the National 4 and 5 may committee Gerdi Verbeet and Mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam, the Royal couple laid the first wreath, watch and listened to the introduction videos during the laying of the other wreaths and to the 16-year-old Eva Pronk who read her own written poem ‘Vrijheid’ (Freedom)
Special was also that it was the first time that the Dutch head of state give a speech
King Willem-Alexander pay attention to the special circumstances “It feels strange on an almost empty Dam. But I know that you are experiencing this National Commemoration and that we are here together. ”
Then he speek about how utmost lack of freedom looklike on the basis of the story of war witnesses Jules Schelvis
“Straight through this city. Straight through this country. Right before the eyes of their fellow countrymen. It seemed to develop so gradually. Bit by bit. No longer being allowed to go to the swimming pool. Being excluded as member of an orchestra. No longer being allowed to ride your bike. No longer being allowed to go to college. Being put out onto the streets. Being arrested and taken away.
Sobibor began in the Vondelpark. With a sign saying: ‘Jews Not Wanted”.
In his speech, the King mentioned how civilians and soldiers fought for our freedom, but that er was also that other reality. He did not ignore the fact that people also felt abandoded by his great-grandmother Queen Wilhelmina
“Fellow human beings, fellow citizens in need, felt abandoned, unheard, and unsupported, if only by words. Also from London, and by my great grandmother, despite her unwavering and fierce opposition. This is something that won’t let go of me.
In the end the King underscore that the war has still has impact and that we have to make sure it won’t happen again
Even now, 75 years after our liberation, it remains with us. The least we can do is: not look away. Not justify. Not erase. Not brush aside. Not make something ‘normal’ that is not. And: nurture and defend our free, democratic constitution. Because only that is what will protect us from terror and insanity.