Only King & four others on Dam Square for Remembrance Day; no Liberation festivals
The Netherlands' annual war commemoration on Remembrance Day will look very different than usual due to the coronavirus. The actual commemoration on Dam Square will only be attended by King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema, and Gerdi Verbeet of organizers National Committee 4 and 5 May. All Liberation Day festivals have been canceled, the committee announced.
On Remembrance Day on May 4th, the Netherlands commemorates the victims of war. Usually this is done with a large ceremony and two minutes of silence on Dam Square. This year Netherlands residents will have to follow the commemoration from home and sing the Wilhelmus from their living room.
Like every year, the commemoration will start with a trumpet signal at 7:58 p.m. The National Committee calls on people who own a trumpet, to play the tattoo from home. After two minutes of silence, the national anthem will play, which the committee hopes people will sing at home. A poem will be recited by 16-year-old Eva Pronk, writer Arnon Grunberg will deliver the annual May 4 lecture in the Nieuwe Kerk, and Simone Kleinsma will sing a song, also in the Nieuwe Kerk and accompanied by a small delegation from the Metropole Orchestra.
On May 5th, the Netherlands celebrates its liberation from the Second World War and the fact that it is a free country in general. German chancellor Angela Merkel was supposed to hold the May 5 lecture this year, but that has been canceled. There will also be no Liberation Day festivals, due to measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Instead, Ambassadors of Freedom Roxanne Hazes, Snelle, Lucas & Steve, and Kriss Kross Amsterdam will use social media to show how they are celebrating 75 years of freedom. Instead of the annual May 5 concert, NOS will broadcast from the foyer of the Carre theater in Amsterdam. The broadcast will feature performances by Simone Kleinsma, Giovanca, Roel van Velen, mezzo soprano Mia Fiselier, and violinist Noa Wildschut. The show starts at 8:35 p.m. on May 5, on NPO1.