Liberation Day flame lit; Most celebrations online
The Liberation Day flame was lit at midnight on the 5 Mei square in Wageningen on the 76th anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi forces in the Netherlands at the end of World War II in Europe. The city’s mayor, Geert van Rumund, lit the cauldron in front of the Hotel de Wereld, the site where Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes of Canada and Nazi Germany General Johannes Blaskowitz negotiated terms of the surrender.
Traditiegetrouw is om middernacht op het 5 Mei Plein in Wageningen het Bevrijdingsvuur ontstoken. https://t.co/o26X7l8Mlr— De Telegraaf (@telegraaf) May 5, 2021
Van Rumund has lit the fire every year since 2006, but the ceremony early Wednesday morning was his 16th and final chance to do so. An otherwise damp, rainy evening gave way to a cold, but dry period when the televised ceremony took place.
It was also the second year where no audience members were allowed because of the ongoing pandemic. Instead, the mayor was joined by 14 people who have made a positive difference to Dutch society.
The combination of well-known and lesser-known people are tasked with bringing torches lit in Wageningen to other municipalities in the country. A festival that would normally take place in 14 cities will be held virtually, with performances by Jonna Fraser, Tino Martin and Davina Michelle from an undisclosed location.
The annual Liberation Day concert usually held in the evening on the Amstel River in Amsterdam will be broadcast from the Carré theater. Other celebrations and events normally held in person throughout the Netherlands will largely be held online this year.
A traditional Freedom Soup will also be delivered by 180 old military vehicles to thousands of elderly people living in care facilities in Friesland.