In the year The Netherlands celebrates 75 years of Freedom, the theme of the Airborne commemorations in September is “We will always remember!”. The organisations involved make it clear to the veterans, who stay at home this year, that whatever happens, we will always remember.
The mayors of the Airborne municipalities and the organizations affiliated with the Airborne Commemoration Foundation have called on the veterans, their families and surviving relatives not to travel to the Netherlands this year, in order to avoid any risk. The cancellation by the pandemic of various events and meetings, where they are normally (honorary) guests, is partly the reason for this request.
Adjusted Commemoration Program
The upcoming Airborne commemorations in the municipalities of Arnhem, Ede, Overbetuwe and Renkum will look different this year. Unfortunately, the corona pandemic makes large-scale meetings impossible. In recent months, the various organisers have extensively investigated the options that fit within the measures imposed by the national government. This has led to a modified commemoration program, which does justice as much as possible to an honourable commemoration of those who gave their lives for our freedom.
A strict invitation policy applies to all major commemorations (Arnhem, Ede, Driel and Oosterbeek); the memorial meeting can only be attended by invitation. An uninvited audience is asked to stay at home and will be banned around the location. During the shortened ceremonies, a limited number of wreaths will be laid by ambassadors and mayors, among others.
The smaller commemorations
For smaller commemorations, only the mayor and/or a board member of the organisation will lay a wreath. The commemorations will be shown via live stream via, among others, Omroep Gelderland. Announcements about this in September on their site and on airborne-herdenkingen.nl.
Unfortunately, many events that in any way have a connection to the Battle of Arnhem have been cancelled this year, but fortunately there are still (outdoor) exhibitions and small meetings, the Bridge to Liberation goes online, the Bridge to Bridge Run and Airborne Freedom Trail will take place later in adapted form and the White Ribbon Mile is on the calendar.
During August, the Airborne municipalities will each provide an overview of the commemorations and all other initiatives in their municipality.
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