June 18, 2018

Dutch Veterans Day

By Anton Lutter.

On Saturday the 24th the country honours the many veterans who have served the country during several wars and international peacekeeping operations. This annual homage is now organized for the 13th consecutive time.

The government wanted to pay homage to all Dutch veterans and in doing so founded the Dutch Veterans Day in 2005. Nowadays about 115.000  living veterans have taken their tour of duty in a variety of operations all over the world.

Traditionally the program opens with speeches in the Ridderzaal – where also the state opening of parliament takes place – the oldest part of the Binnenhof parliamentary building complex in the centre of The Hague.

His Majesty Willem-Alexander the King of the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mr. Mark Rutte, the Minister of Defense Mrs. Hennis-Plasschaert and other civil and military dignitaries as well as veterans attend.

Following, with a military ceremony, decorations were given to veterans who served in overseas missions, at the courtyard of the Binnenhof.

The eye-catching event of Dutch Veterans Day is the military parade, in front of the King. 4000 veterans – representing many parts of the military in a variety of uniforms, both current and historical attires, 16 bands and 32 military vehicles participated in the parade, attracting 90.000 visitors from all over the country.

The highlight was the fly-past of 4 F16 fighter jets and historic airplanes.


Pictures Anton Lutter.

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