Public to return to Remembrance Day, Liberation Day events this year

The National Commemoration of the Second World War on Dam Square in Amsterdam on 4 May is open to everyone again this year. In the past two years, only a handful of people besides King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima attended Remembrance Day on Dam Square because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now everyone is welcome again, the National Committee for 4 and 5 May announced on Wednesday. The Liberation Day celebration on 5 May is also open to the public again.

Mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam will speak on Dam Square on 4 May. Presenter and historian Hans Goedkoop will give the 4 May lecture in De Nieuwe Kerk. Commemorations will be held all over the country on 4 May, with two minutes of silence at 8:00 p.m. People can lay flowers at nearly 4,000 war memorials in the Netherlands. They can also order flowers digitally here. The digital flowers were conceived when commemorations were canceled due to the coronavirus crisis.

The national theme for 4 and 5 May this year is “freedom in solidarity.” The committee wants to emphasize that “our freedom is explicitly linked to the freedom of others. The war in Ukraine shows how vulnerable freedom is and strengthens the National Committee in its task to commemorate war victims and to emphasize the importance of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law,” a spokesperson said. 

Noord-Brabant is the host province for Liberation Day. Sog festival winner Duncan Laurence will pick up the liberation fire in Wageningen at midnight and bring it to Den Bosch. The liberation parade returns to Wageningen on 5 May. 

Lighting the liberation fire is the start sign for 14 liberation festivals in the country. In Oss, bearer of Military Willems-Orde Gijs Tuinman will hold the 5 May lecture. Liberation Day ends with the traditional concert on the Amstel in front of the Royal Theater Carre. Anita Meyer, Merijn van Haren and Fresku will perform, among others. Many parts of the national celebrations can be seen on television.

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