May 5 – Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag)

Photo by: Jan Paiva

May 5 marks Liberation Day in The Netherlands.  It is when we celebrate the ending of the Second World War and our country’s liberation from the German occupation.  The allied forces landed in September 1944 and the liberation lasted until April 1945.

Geallieerde vliegtuigen boven Nederland / Allied planes over Holland

Photo Source: Nationaal Archief

The Netherlands was liberated largely by Canadian troups, with the assistance of the British and American Armies and French airborne.  May 5 marks the day that Canadian and German commanders reached an agreement of the capitulation of German forces in The Netherlands.

Photo by: C.J. Kooiman

Liberation Day follows our Remembrance Day as there cannot be a “celebration without commemoration”.  It is celebrated across the country with ceremonies remembering those who gave us our freedom back, parades and outdoor activities and games for the children.

I remember the years when I when I was a child and the small town that I grew up in, would pour out and everyone would join together outside for games and fun.  Flags would hang high, and stories would be told.  My mother was a young girl herself during the war, so growing up, there were always questions and answers, she would share stories, memories, good and bad.  And as I got older, the realization of what this day exactly meant set in.  Most of the time I would take my freedom for granted, but watching the ceremonies and seeing the faces of those men who fought for us, for our freedom, made me realize that thanks to them, I was living the life I was living.

Freedom - ODC - veteran

And every year, during Liberation Day, I cannot help but think there will be fewer and fewer people left to tell their stories, to share their experiences and there will be fewer people to whom we can say “Thank You for all that you did for us”.  It is my hope that as time goes on, we continue to remember those who gave us back our Freedom.  Whether that is through celebrations in The Netherlands or moments of silence in places far away.  After all, Freedom is not something to take for granted.  It is something to be grateful for as it allows us to live the lives we live today.

5 Mei Bevrijdingsdag

Photo by: "Zilverbat"

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

Bookmark and Share
Published on: May 5, 2012 | Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>