After having celebrated our last Queensday abundantly just a few days ago, the 4th and 5th of May are two days where the Dutch pause and reflect upon those who have fought for our freedom and commemorate and honor them.
The 4th of May is national commemoration day. The Dutch flags hang out half-staff and people gather around war-monuments to bow their heads for 2 silent minutes to pay their tribute at 20:00 sharp. Our new fresh king Willem-Alexander and beautiful queen Maxima payed their tribute at the war-monument at the Dam-square, assisted by thousands of citizens.
I decided to go to a smaller memorial at the resistance fighters monument in South-Amsterdam, Apollolaan. The south of Amsterdam used to be a refuge for numerous Jews who had fled from Nazi Germany. Among them was Anne Frank who had lived in the Rivierenbuurt Amsterdam-South before going in hiding.
The last generation who has lived through WWII is fading away and the current discussion is whether or not commemorating WWII is still relevant? Should we not commemorate war victims in general? Time will tell...
The 5th of May 1945 was the day that Holland got liberated from the Nazi regime with help from Canadian, American, British, Polish and French troops. We celebrate this day with music, food, laughter and the knowledge that we are blessed to live in a time and country that allows everyone to be whom they want to be.