Dutch King, Queen officially unveil monument at MH17 memorial

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
King Willem-Alexander and Queen MaximaPhoto: RVD / Patrick van Katwijk

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima officially opened the National Monument for the victims of flight MH17 during the memorial service on the third anniversary of the disaster on Monday afternoon. The monument is located in Vijfhuizen Park next to Schiphol Airport, where MH17 took off on July 17th, 2014.

The memorial service's theme was "survive" this year, and that can also be seen in the monument. It is surrounded by a forest of 298 trees, one for every person killed when MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. The trees stand for growth, hope and life. Each tree has a tag with the name of a MH17 victim attached to it, according to NU.nl. 

The service was attended by about two thousand people, mostly loved ones of the victims. In addition to the King and Queen, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs, Minister Steff Blok of Security and Justice, the presidents of both parliament and the Senate and ambassadors of the countries from where the victims came, were present as guests.