Today is Remembrance Day in the Netherlands. In a few minutes, at 20:00, traffic and public transport will come to a standstill, and the entire country will observe 2 minutes of silence, with flags everywhere at half mast. To remember all victims of WWII and all victims of war since then.

Nationale Herdenking

Apart from participating in remembrance events in our former home town, the two most impressive May 4ths in my memory are once when I was driving and once on Amsterdam Airport. While driving with a friend we parked the car in time. Behind us on the motorway itself trucks slowed down traffic in all lanes and came to a halt right at 20:00. The parking lot was filled with people, all strangers, standing still beside their cars. Then after two minutes of silence, we nodded to the people around us, and all went on their way again. At the airport I once arrived from abroad shortly before 20:00, and I had just entered Arrivals while Remembrance Day was announced in four languages. At 20:00 everyone just suddenly stopped walking and stood still. Except for a few very confused people from far abroad, who wandered around a bit and then not knowing what to do also stopped walking.