NL commemorates victims of War

As per tradition, the Netherlands observed two minutes of silence on Sunday evening at 8 p.m. to remember those lost during and after the Second World War. Remembrance Day took place in 15000 locations throughout the country. 

The Dam square in Amsterdam saw King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima join in the national Remembrance service. Just before 8 p.m., the Royal couple laid a wreath by the National Monument.After the moment of silence, the traditional Wilhelmus was played.

The 18-year old Nienke Woltmeijer read aloud a poem. She won the annual poetry competition for young people, Poet on 4 May. Her piece was called The silent witness.

Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan made a speech. "The Second World War is still with us as ever", he said. "The war which will not become ordinary history, not past tense. The war that I often did not understand."

The mayor told about his parents. "My mother was always crying after Remembrance Day, my father would shuffle silently in the garden. I didn't understand that, so long after the war and still so affected."

Van der Laan's mother wrote a book about the war in which she tells about Sinterklaas evening in 1943, which she celebrated with friends of the resistance. Seven of the 12 who were there that evening were shot by the nazis a year later. "Around 8000 resistance fighters gave their lives."

According to the police, the service went without big incidents. "The Dam was packed" a spokesperson for the police reports, though an exact number is not available. One person did faint after the two minutes of silence. This person was reanimated and brought to hospital.

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