Amsterdam commemorates 25th anniversary of Bijlmer disaster

The tree that saw everything - the Growing Monument for the victims of the Bijlmer disaster on 4 Oct 1992 in Amsterdam
The tree that saw everything - the Growing Monument for the victims of the Bijlmer disaster on 4 Oct 1992 in Amsterdam. (Photo: Mauritsvink / Wikimedia Commons)

Amsterdam is commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Biljmer disaster on Wednesday. On October 4th, 1992 an Israeli freight plane crashed into two apartment buildings in Amsterdam's Biljmermeer, killing 43 people.

Like every year, the Biljmer disaster will be commemorated at the Growing Monument in the midst of the disaster area, Het Parool reports. The monument was built around "the tree that saw everything" - a tree on the disaster site that survived the plane crash and subsequent fire. 

Deputy Mayor Kasja Ollongren and reverend Otto Ruff, who assisted the relatives and survivors after the accident, will be among the speakers. Singer Pearl Joan will perform, there will be a minute of silence and a wreath laying ceremony.

The El Al  Boeing 747 fell onto apartment buildings Groeneveen and Kruitberg. 43 people were killed, including the four crew members on the plane. 

According to Helen Burselon, chairman of the foundation that tends to the Growing Monument, interest in the commemoration is still as large as it was just after the disaster happened. She told Het Parool that it is important to keep the memory of the disaster alive.

 

Aftermath of the Bijlmer disaster on 4 Oct 1992
Aftermath of the Bijlmer disaster on 4 Oct 1992. (Photo: Maaike98 / Wikimedia Commons)

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