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‘Liberation to be celebrated for another 60 years’

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander:

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DEN BOSCH – Liberation Day will be around for much longer but will have a different meaning for future generations. In his speech which marked the start of the annual Liberation Day celebrations, Crown Prince Willem Alexander envisioned that Liberation Day will still be celebrated sixty years from now. “It still will be about peace and freedom, but the interpretation of the festivities likely will be different.”

The Prince spoke about the theme ‘Indebted to Freedom’ to an audience, which included the ambassadors of EU countries, Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Morocco and Russia. Also present were Prime Minister J.P. Balkenende and his cabinet, representatives of the province of Noord-Brabant and of the municipality of Den Bosch.

In sixty years, all those who have witnessed the Liberation will have died, noted the Prince. In most cases, their children no longer will be alive either. In the year 2065, the celebrations will lack the emotions of those who were witnesses themselves of the 1945 event.

However, posed Willem-Alexander, the celebrations will have the conviction that freedom is the most precious possession we all have.

On Liberation Day in Wageningen, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander reviewed the veterans parade, assuming the role traditionally held by his grandfather Prince Bernhard, who died last year December and who still had reviewed the 2004 parade. The May 2005 event, in which many of the 1,700 Canadian war veterans participated, is the final edition because of the advanced age of the vast majority of the actual Liberators.

Tens of thousands lined the parade route in Wageningen, the town where the Germans officially capitulated in the Netherlands, an event witnessed by Prince Bernhard in his role of Commander of the Dutch Internal Forces. Attendance at the May 5 parade was higher than in previous years, because of the historic occasion.