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Netherlands marks 66th anniversary of liberation

The Netherlands celebrates Liberation Day on Thursday. A large number of events are being held across the country to mark the 66th anniversary of the end of German occupation during World War II.

The torch - the logo of the Remembrance and Liberation Day committee (Comité 4 en 5 Mei) - takes centre stage in this year’s commemorative events. The symbol reminds us that freedom can not be taken for granted and must be actively kept alive and passed on, just like a torch used to light other torches and keep the fire burning. The theme of this year’s celebrations is Freedom in the Streets.

An estimated one million visitors are expected to attend the liberation festivals, which are being held in 14 different locations across the Netherlands. Early this afternoon, Prime Minister Mark Rutte will officially open the national liberation celebrations in the town of Wageningen, where the German army surrendered to Canadian general Charles Foulkes on 5 May 1945. Celebrations in Wageningen will include a parade featuring World War II veterans and period military vehicles.

Later tonight, Queen Beatrix and Prime Minister Rutte will attend a Liberation Concert performed on floating stages on the river Amstel in Amsterdam. This year’s concert is performed by the Gelderland Orchestra (Gelders Orkest). As with yesterday’s national Remembrance Day events, additional security measures have been taken to ensure there will be no incidents during the Liberation Concert.

(gsh/ae)

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