This year, 2023, it is 78 years ago that the Netherlands was liberated and the horrors of the Second World War ended. Since the end of the 2WW, it is a tradition to commemorate the victims on May 4. The Netherlands is silent for 2 minutes from 8:00 PM to 8:02 PM.
Two minutes of silence at National Remembrance Day
Dutch Commemorate and Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking in Dutch) is an annual event held on May 4th in the Netherlands to remember the victims of World War II and subsequent conflicts. The day is marked by ceremonies and events throughout the country, including a national remembrance ceremony held at the National Monument on Dam Square in Amsterdam.
Prior to the two minutes of silence, the Taptoe will be played on the bugle or a trumpet on May 4 during National Remembrance Day. Taptoe is translated as Bugle call (sunset) better known as the retreat call at the end of the soldier’s day.
The remembrance ceremony is attended by members of the Dutch royal family, government officials, and representatives of the armed forces. At 8:00 pm, a two-minute silence is observed nationwide, during which all traffic comes to a standstill and people pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who fought and died in the war.
60 veterans form a guard of honor on Dam Square during the National Remembrance Day on May 4. The veterans are selected from the four branches of the armed forces and form the honorary council. The Erecouloir symbolizes the commitment to international peace, freedom, and security.
➔ Commemorate World War II at National Remembrance Day on the 4th of May
During World War II, the Netherlands was liberated by soldiers from various countries, primarily from the Allied Powers. Liberation started with Operation Market Garden in September 1944. The Netherlands was fully liberated in May 1945. The Allied forces liberated the Netherlands. Allied force soldiers came from various countries:
* Canada troops played a vital role, they fought in major battles such as the Battle of the Scheldt and the Reichswald.
* United Kingdom, part of the 21st Army Group, responsible for the final push.
* United States: American troops, part of the Allied forces, part of the 9th Army, a big role in the Battle of the Scheldt.
* Poland: Polish troops fought in battles in the southern part of the country, such as the Battle of Breda.
* France: French troops were part of the Allied forces that liberated the Netherlands, their involvement was limited.
* Belgian troops fought mainly in the south, in battles such as the Battle of the Scheldt.
* Australia: Australian soldiers fought in the Netherlands as part of the Allied forces.
* New Zealand: New Zealand soldiers fought in the Netherlands as part of the Allied forces
* South Africa: South African soldiers fought in the Netherlands as part of the Allied forces
Other countries: soldiers from other countries also fought to liberate the Netherlands.
The Dutch population is more than grateful for the efforts of these soldiers for the liberation of the Netherlands. Without this commitment, we would not be able to celebrate 75 Years of Freedom in 2023.
This is something never to forget and to remember
➔ Liberation of the Netherlands | Animation on the map, how the Netherlands was liberated
The Dutch Commemorate and Remembrance Day is an important event in the Netherlands, as it serves to remind people of the horrors of war and the importance of peace, freedom, and democracy. It also provides an opportunity to honor the sacrifices made by those who fought and died for these values.
In addition to the national ceremony in Amsterdam, many towns and cities throughout the Netherlands hold their own commemorations and remembrance events. These events often involve laying wreaths at war memorials, reading poems, and singing hymns or national anthems. On May 4 at 8 p.m., there will be 2 minutes of silence and flowers will be laid at all 2WW memorial stones and memorial statues in the entry country.
The Dutch Commemorate and Remembrance Day is a solemn and respectful occasion, and it is considered important for people of all ages and backgrounds to participate and reflect on the significance of the event. It serves as a reminder that the freedoms and rights we enjoy today were hard-won and must be protected and cherished.