For those of you new to the Netherlands, it is important to note that the Dutch remember those who perished in World War II and other wars on Saturday, May 4th ("Dodenherdenking") and celebrate their liberation on Sunday, May 5th ("Bevrijdingsdag"). ASH students represent our school in the Wassenaar memorial as part of our traditions and engagement with the local community.
On Friday evening, Dutch communities across the country will walk to war monuments and place flowers in memory of those who perished. At 20:00 sharp, there is a 2 minute period of silence across the country. People driving pull in off the road, cyclists dismount and everyone keeps still during the 2 minutes of silence. In Wassenaar, our local community members gather for a short silent walk ("stille tocht") to the Wassenaar World War II monument. The Mayor leads the walk and lays the first wreath followed by the local police and fire brigade and other local services. The Mayor of Wassenaar also gives a speech with musical accompaniment from the Excelsior band. As our Grade 8 students study World War II in class, the Wassenaar Municipality invites them annually to represent ASH at the memorial service in Wassenaar, where they lay a wreath on behalf of the school. The memorial walk and service are for everyone so please do feel free to join in this important Dutch tradition.
On Saturday, May 5th is Liberation Day as the Dutch and Europe celebrates the end of the Second World War, which is known in the Netherlands as "Bevrijdingsdag". Different activities may also take place in your neighborhood on this day, which will be open for all to participate in. For more information on Remembrance Day activities, click here.