Wednesday, 23 July, 2014 will be a national day of mourning in the Netherlands as the country pauses to remember the victims of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 disaster. One minute’s silence will be observed after the first planes carrying the bodies of the victims arrive at an airbase in Eindhoven. Below you will find information on how Amsterdam will reflect on the tragedy.
One minute’s silence
After the two military aircraft repatriating the victims have landed, one minute’s silence will be observed throughout the country. The planes are expected to land at 16:00 and this is the time for the planned minute’s silence. Mourning bells will ring at a number of Amsterdam’s churches between 15:55 and 16:00. All public transport in the city will halt to observe the minute’s silence.
Flags at half mast
To mark the national day of mourning, the Dutch flag will hang at half mast on all municipal buildings in Amsterdam. Various churches, museums, cultural institutions, businesses and residences in the city have also lowered their flags to half mast.
Shops are not obliged to close and events can go ahead as planned: it is the responsibility of shop owners and event organisers to determine their individual approach. The City of Amsterdam does ask that the national day of mourning be treated with suitable respect and consideration.
‘Silent march’ from Dam Square
A group of Amsterdammers are organising a ‘silent march’ of remembrance, departing from Dam Square at 20:00. From Dam Square, the procession will follow a circular route along Rokin to the Munt, along the Vijzelstraat and Vijzelgracht to the Weteringsschans, then to Leidseplein, along Marnixstraat, Rozengracht and Paleisstraat before ending at Dam Square. The City of Amsterdam has welcomed the initiative and various city representatives have indicated that they will join the ‘silent march’.
Evening remembrance on 24 July
Approximately 75 churches in and around Amsterdam will open between 19:00 and 20:30 on Thursday, 24 July 2014 to allow well-wishers to commemorate the tragedy in Ukraine. Visitors will have the opportunity to light candles of remembrance and leave a message of condolence. The church bells will ring at 20:00 to show sympathy and support for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 disaster and the bereaved. The City of Amsterdam supports the fact that, precisely a week after the disaster, numerous locations are being made available for people in the city to share their grief. Representatives of the city will be present at various locations. A list of participating churches is available on the website of the Protestant Church Amsterdam.