Politicians, celebrities praise Andre van Duin's moving Remembrance Day speech
Many prominent Dutch people praised entertainer Andre van Duin for the deeply emotional speech he gave on Tuesday evening in Amsterdam during the national Remembrance Day ceremony on Dam Square. The presenter and comedian, who normally attends the commemoration at the Homomonument on the Westermarkt, expressed his gratitude for the fact that he, like all other residents, can live in freedom.
"The fact that, since 1987, we have the first monument of that kind here in the Netherlands symbolizes our freedom. The freedom that allows everyone here to simply be themselves. Without anyone else saying anything about it. You can do whatever you want and say whatever you want here. You're free here,” said Van Duin.
The Homomonument is a monument to people who have been persecuted because of their sexual orientation. It’s the first-ever monument placed to memorialize all homosexuals who were oppressed or murdered. Flowers are usually placed there on Remembrance Day, and it is a street festival site on Liberation Day celebrated on May 5.
Many Dutch celebrities and politicians responded to the speech on Twitter stating they were moved by it. Famous Dutch comedian Jochem Myjer called André van Duin the "greatest living Dutchman".
"Shed a tear. Impressive and beautiful! What a great man André van Duin is," tweeted TV presenter Jan de Hoop.
"Beautiful and moving words from André van Duin during the National commemoration. The Homomonument illustrates the freedom we have in the Netherlands. Freedom that we should not take for granted. Freedom that we must pass on to the future generation," said the D66 political party member Rob Jetten.
Van Duin was born in Rotterdam but spent the last 30 years living in the Dutch capital. His speech can be read on the website of the National Committee for 4 and 5 May launched to mark this year’s events (available in Dutch only).