Netherlands national MH17 memorial Monday


Flags across the Netherlands will be lowered to half-staff on Monday morning in advance of the country’s national memorial ceremony for the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 later that afternoon. The commemoration at the RAI convention center in Amsterdam begins at 1 p.m., before Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte takes the stage to speak on behalf of the nation.

King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, Princess Beatrix will attend the ceremony along with all of the country’s cabinet ministers, secretaries, members of Parliament and Senators.

Heads of State from other nations were not invited to the day’s events. Mayors from municipalities most affected by the plane crash were asked to represent their communities.

The Malaysia Airlines flight took off from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in mid July, with a scheduled destination of Kuala Lumpur. The Boeing 777 was rocked by an explosion while flying over eastern Ukraine, a region steeped in conflict between nationalists and Russian-backed separatists. Nearly 300 people died in the crash, of which 196 were from the Netherlands.

The names of all 298 victims will be read out, and represented by their surviving friends and family.

Performances from Dutch musicians Marco Borsato, Lenette van Dongen, Maartje Rammeloo, Air Force Adjudant Officer Hans Flowers and Douwe Bob. Glennis Grace will close the ceremony with the song “I Was Here” at about 2:30 p.m.