Netherlands begins day of mourning for flight 17

Half mast
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Today, the Netherlands will pay tribute to the 298 people lost in the tragic Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash last Thursday through several tokens of mourning. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has designated this day a national day of mourning. Flags will fly at half mast, church bells will ring, and there will be one minute of silence before the bodies of the victims arrive in The Netherlands. The first bodies will arrive at Eindhoven airport at around 4 p.m. 

The airport at Eindhoven will observe a minute of silence after the plane has landed. For one minute, there will be no planes taking off or landing at Schiphol, the buses from Connexxion will stand still and many shops will turn off their music.

In Amsterdam, a silent march will take place on the Dam at 8 p.m. Balloons will be released into the air at the end of the march, and a minute of silence will be observed. The organizers of this march have asked participants to come in white clothing on their page.

In Den Bosch and Tilburg, among other places, commemorations have been organized for the residents of those areas lost in the tragedy. The fun fair in Tilburg will also stop all activities for 15 minutes.

All government buildings have been instructed to keep their Dutch flag at half mast. Municipalities, provinces and Dutch diplomatic representative buildings abroad are also asked to do the same. Shops will remain open, but supermarket chain Albert Heijn has instructed over 800 shops to honor the flag instructions as well.

Once the bodies have landed in Endhoven, they will be taken to a barracks in Hilversum. King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and Prime Minister Rutte will be present to receive the bodies in Eindhoven. The A2 and A27 highways will be partially closed off for the transport of the victims.