Thursday, 24 July 2014 - 08:08
Thousands remember MH17 victims, A'dam
What started as an idea on Facebook snowballed into a gathering where thousands of people were present in Amsterdam to silently march through the city in commemoration of the 283 passengers and 15 crew members lost on flight 17 last Thursday. The march set off at around 8 p.m. at the Dam. With thousands of people taking part, the organizers saw that there was a great need for an event like this, to remember the victims but also to find support and grounding amongst each other. Most of the participants wore white as the organizers wished. Neighbors of a victims from Amsterdam-West were at the march to pay tribute. They had a big white dove made of cardboard with them, which people could sign. Two women even came from Friesland, not because they lost anyone close but because of the general tragedy. "We wanted to pay our respects to the surviving relatives. This morning we decided to come here", they tell the NOS. The march proceeded in silence through the city streets. According to the NOS, there were at least 6000 people in the end. The march ended back where it started, at the Dam, where the participants stood together and released white balloons into the air. Flowers were laid at the Paleis op de Dam, and emotional speeches spoke of the loss. The organizer of the event, Peter van Lent, says that he was overwhelmed with the turnout. "I get goosebumps. It started as an idea in the living room and look how many people walked along. Really, just goosebumps."