For the second year in a row, King Willem-Alexander has commemorated Veterans Day in a modest way. Just like last year, there was no parade due to the corona crisis. There was, however, a program for invited guests in the Koninklijke Schouwburg in The Hague.
Willem-Alexander sat in the front row of the theater together with outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte and President of the Senate Jan Anthonie Bruijn, among others. Stories were told by and by veterans. The more than 111,000 Dutch soldiers who have fought for peace since the Second World War were honored. This happened with videos and speeches, and with music by Claudia de Breij, Snelle and Stef Bos.
In his speech, Prime Minister Rutte thanked the Dutch veterans for their efforts ‘somewhere in the world and somewhere in our history or in the here and now’. The Prime Minister also reflected on the camaraderie that ‘is ingrained in all soldiers’ and told the story of Paul Moerman, the oldest Dutch veteran of the Second World War, by way of illustration. Moerman passed away last December a day after his 104th birthday.
For the king, the program is not over after the public part. Afterwards, he speaks with a number of veterans present.
Willem-Alexander is patron of Veterans Day and has always been there since the first edition in 2005.
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King celebrates Veterans Day in a sober way | show
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