Flags at half-mast: Netherlands commemorates Remembrance Day at home
The Netherlands is commemorating the victims of war on Remembrance Day today. But instead of attending numerous commemorations and events to mark the 75th anniversary of World War II, Netherlands residents will be remembering the victims of war at home due to restrictions in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The National Committee for 4 and 5 May called on everyone in the Netherlands to hang the Dutch flag at half-mast throughout May 4, instead of only in the evening as usual.
The commemoration in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam will start at 7:00 p.m., and will be broadcast live on NPO 1 and on various online channels. Arnon Grunberg will give the annual 4 May lecture.
At 7:50 p.m. the National Commemoration will start on Dam Square. Due to the coronavirus, King Willem-Alexander will give his speech to a largely empty square with only a select few in attendance - Queen Maxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema, Gerdi Verbeet of the National Committee 4 and 5 May, 16-year-old Eva Pronk who will read a poem, and trumpeter John Bessems, who will sound the Last Post over the empty square to announce the two minutes of silence starting at 8:00 p.m.
The National Committee calls on everyone in the Netherlands who plays an instrument, to also play in the two minutes of silence just before 8:00 p.m.. At 8:02 p.m., the Committee hopes that all Netherlands residents will join together in singing the first verse of the Wilhelmus.
The National Commemoration on Dam Square will be broadcast live on NPO 2 and NPO 3, as well as on various online channels.