National Remembrance Day in Netherlands 2023: National Remembrance Day is observed on May 4 each year in the Netherlands. Since 1945, the Dutch have annually observed this day. Citizens observe a two-minute moment of silence at 8 p.m. to remember civilians and soldiers who perished in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and around the globe since the outbreak of globe War II. Before the moment of silence, a memorial service is conducted at the National Monument on Dam Square in Amsterdam, which was constructed to honour the fallen. Numerous speeches are delivered, and a wreath-laying ceremony takes place.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL REMEMBRANCE DAY IN NETHERLANDS
World War II began on September 1, 1939, with active military engagement between nearly all world powers resulting in a violent and destructive war that lasted six years and claimed the lives of 50 million people. The Netherlands desired to remain neutral during the war, believing that its strategic location at the border of the German and British lines would allow it to remain neutral and rely on its neutrality to prevent it from becoming involved in the conflict.
As anticipated, the allied and axis forces would prefer not to invade a front that posed little to no threat. In spite of this, Nazi forces invaded the Netherlands in May 1940 and occupied a large portion of the country until Germany’s surrender and defeat in 1945. Although military losses were relatively modest during the war, with 17,000 soldiers and military personnel killed, the actual loss of life in the Netherlands was almost 300,000 civilian deaths.
During World War II, the Netherlands’ population was just under nine million; they lost over 300,000 citizens, or 3% of their total population, in a conflict in which they wished to remain neutral. Some argue that the first National Remembrance Day was observed in the Netherlands in 1946, but Amsterdam observed the first Remembrance Day in 1945, after driving German forces from the city.
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HOW TO Observe Netherlands National Remembrance Day
Observe a brief period of silence
Join the Dutch at 8 p.m. CET. Pay your respects to all Dutch citizens who have lost their lives since 1939.
Conduct research to increase your knowledge
The Netherlands have a complex and varied past. Take the time to comprehend why the Dutch people are so valuable to their nation.
Study “The Diary of Anne Frank”
It is one of the most iconic books to emerge from World War II’s devastation. “The Diary of Anne Frank” will offer you a glimpse of the conditions under which many Jews lived in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation.
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Five FACTS ABOUT THE HOLLANDS
The Dutch Republic is not Holland
The Netherlands, also known as the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consists of twelve provinces; South and North Holland make up two of these provinces.
It lies beneath sea level.
The Netherlands translates to ‘lower countries’ and more than 25 percent of its territory is below sea level.
There is a single official language.
The Netherlands recognise only Dutch as its official language; despite having the highest English proficiency in the world, English is not recognised as an official language.
The Dutch are a cheerful people.
The Netherlands is the sixth happiest country in the world; its citizens are authentically and generally upbeat and happy.
They enjoy cycling
In the Netherlands, there are more bicycles than humans, with over 22 million bicycles compared to approximately 17 million citizens.
WHY NATIONAL REMEMBRANCE DAY IS IMPORTANT IN THE NETHERLANDS
Someone should recall
The world eventually advances past tragedy and the horrors of war. We must immortalise and continue to commemorate these moments.
It concerns lives that matter
The world sustained catastrophic losses that have never occurred again. It matters that so many individuals who could have made significant contributions to society were lost.
It is an act of unification
Two minutes of silence at 8 o’clock in the evening may not seem like much. Nonetheless, all twelve provinces cease all activity and partake in this memorial day, which has a profound effect on the population.
NATIONAL REMEMBRANCE DAY IN NETHERLANDS DATES