Remembrance of the Dead (in Dutch: Dodenherdenking) is held annually on May 4 in the Netherlands. It commemorates all civilians and members of the armed forces of the Kingdom of the Netherlands who have died in wars or peacekeeping missions since the outbreak of World War II.
Traditionally, the main ceremonies are observed in Amsterdam at the National Monument on Dam Square. This ceremony is usually attended by members of the cabinet and the royal family, military leaders, representatives of the resistance movement and other social groups. At 8 PM, two minutes of silence are observed throughout the Netherlands. Public transport is stopped, as well as all other traffic. There are ceremonies in other cities and places as well. Especially notable are those at the Waalsdorpervlakte near The Hague, where many Dutch resistance fighters were executed during the war, and at the war cemetery Grebbeberg. In many towns, before or after the two minutes of silence, people gather around a monument, listen to speeches and lay down flowers to remember the dead.
The next day, on May 5, Dutch people celebrate the liberation of the nation from the German occupation of 1940 to 1945.
In the Netherlands, Liberation Day (Dutch: Bevrijdingsdag) is celebrated each year on May 5th, to mark the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II.
The nation was liberated largely by Canadian troops, with the assistance of the British and American Armies (see Operation Market Garden) and French airborne (see Operation Amherst).
On the 5th of May 1945, the Canadian General Charles Foulkes and the German Commander-in-Chief Johannes Blaskowitz reached an agreement on the capitulation of German forces in the Netherlands in Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen. One day later, the capitulation document was signed in the auditorium of Wageningen University, located next-door to the hotel.
After the liberation in 1945, Liberation Day was commemorated every 5 years. Finally, in 1990, the day was declared to be a national holiday, when the liberation would be commemorated and celebrated every year.
On May 4th, the Dutch hold the Remembrance of the Dead for the people who fought and died during World War II, and in wars in general. There is a remembrance gathering in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam and at the National Monument on Dam Square in Amsterdam. Throughout the country, two minutes of silence are observed at 8 p.m. On May 5th, the liberation is celebrated and festivals are held at most places in the Netherlands.
A story about a young Marine, Justin Rokohl, who lost his legs in Afghanistan, and how he was helped to fulfill his dream of riding a motorcycle by a system called LegUp LandinGear. This computerized system stabilizes your bike as you come to a stop, keep it held upright at a light or stop sign with your feet remaining on the pegs.
At just 23 years old, Marine Lance Corporal Justin Rokohl has seen and experienced more than most will in a lifetime. In June of 2008, during his second tour of duty overseas, Justin sustained massive injuries after an attack and explosion that launched him 90 feet in the air. He suffered a broken back, broken hip, fractured tibia and fibulas, two broken femurs, and damage to both legs that could not be repaired or corrected. Today Justin is able to walk with the use of prosthetics. He works a fulltime job in the oil industry, drives a specially modified vehicle and even takes part in cowboy team roping. He is also the recipient of 11 different medals and ribbons from the United States military, including the Purple Heart.
Justin is out in Texas, riding his motor cycle with a big smile on his face. The way it should be. And there are many other stories of young volunteer military people who dream to ride again whatever the extent of their war injuries.