Dutch king lays wreath, thousands attend memorial event

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch King Willem-Alexander laid a wreath Wednesday at a war memorial in Amsterdam during the country’s first national commemoration of the country’s war dead since coronavirus restrictions were lifted earlier this year. anus.

Thousands of people, including at least one wrapped in a Ukrainian flag, observed two minutes of silence at 8:00 p.m. (18:00 GMT) in the Dutch capital’s Dam Square. It was a marked difference from the last two May 4 wreath-laying ceremonies in Amsterdam, which were held without an audience due to COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Amid memories of past conflicts, Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema alluded to the war in Ukraine when she described photographs of death and destruction following a bombing raid on the Dutch capital during World War II in a speech. “These are old photos, but the images are current,” she said.

The national day of remembrance, on which flags fly at half-staff from buildings across the country, honors military personnel and civilians killed in conflicts around the world since the outbreak of World War II. It is followed on Thursday by celebrations to mark the country’s liberation from Nazi German occupation at the end of the war.

Early Wednesday, staff at a war cemetery in the eastern city of Nijmegen discovered pro-Ukrainian graffiti sprayed on graves and buildings. Police were investigating vandalism at the Jonkerbos Cemetery, which houses the graves of more than 1,600 Allied soldiers killed during World War II.


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