Amsterdam residents arrange standing ovation at terminally ill mayor's home

Eberhard van der Laan
Eberhard van der LaanPhoto: Applaus voor Eber

Some 900 people indicated on Facebook that they will gather in front of former Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan's official residence on Wednesday evening, to give the terminally ill mayor a standing ovation. They want to honor Van der Laan for all he did for Amsterdam with thundering applause.

"Van der Laan took care of us for so long, now it's our turn to take care of him. To show him support", the initiators write on their Facebook event page. They called the event 'Applause for Eber <3'. "We want to do something for this beautiful man, our city father. To honor him, we will organize a daunting, deafening, massive applause on Wednesday, September 20th, at the official residence. A big applause for Van der Laan. Together, to thank our mayor for everything."

The event takes place between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Thus far 900 people indicated that they are going, and a further 4,800 said they are interested.

Van der Laan announced his resignation as Mayor of Amsterdam on Monday. He made this decision after getting news from his doctors that they can no longer treat his metastasized lung cancer. The decision was met with understanding and sadness from politicians, both on a local and national level, as well as from the public.

Van der Laan wrote a letter to Amsterdam residents, to inform them of his decision. The letter ended: "Take care of our city and of each other. Farewell."

Deputy mayor Kasja Ollongren will take over Van der Laan's duties for the time being. The Amsterdam mayor was diagnosed with metastasized lung cancer in January.