Tuesday, May 4, 2010

UPDATED: Remembrance and Liberation

UPDATE: Panic during Remembrance Day ceremony

Dozens of people were injured after panic broke out during the Remembrance Day commemorations on Amsterdam's Dam square on Tuesday evening when a man began shouting during the two minutes silence.

The man has been arrested but the motive for his actions is still unclear, a police spokesman told Nos tv.

Most of the injured had either broken bones or scrapes and bruises received when parts of the crowd began moving following the shouts. At least one safety barrier fell during the crush.


This year marks the 65th anniversary of the Liberation in the Netherlands after WWII by the Canadian, Polish, British and US soldiers.

This is the week of Herdenking en Bevrijding - Remembrance and Liberation - and of my birthday, on May 5th. Yesterday, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix, HRH Princess Margriet and Pieter van Volenhoven will attend the Remembrance ceremony at the Canadian War cemetery in Groesbeek, where more than 2,300 young Canadians have found their final resting place. This evening, HM and TRH The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima will attend the Remembrance service for the people who have fought and died during World War II at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, after which HM and The Prince of Orange will lay a wreath at the National Monument on Dam Square.

About 16 years ago, I think it was. I was on holiday in Holland. On May 4th, my cousin's then-boyfriend (a pilot) took Agnes and me up in his plane as a birthday gift. (She celebrates her birthday two days after mine.) We took off from Lelystad airport and flew over the Ijsselmeer, over Marken and Volendam and down over the woods of 't Gooi to Hilversum and over the Loosdrecht lakes and back to the airport. As soon as we landed it was nearly 8 o'clock and time for the two minutes of silence observed throughout the country.

So there we were, on the tarmac, quietly sitting in the small airplane - windows open - and all I felt and heard was the soft, free wind blowing.

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