May 5th 1945 is the day that the second world war formally ended in the Netherlands with the capitulation of German troops. Since then the evening of May 4th is Remembrance Day, and the entire country observes two minutes of silence at 20:00, with flags flying half mast everywhere. May 5th is Liberation Day celebrated with festivals around the country.

The war didn’t end on May 5th 1945 for the entire country. The southern part had been liberated in the fall of 1944, and our former home town Enschede in the east had been liberated a month earlier on April 1st by British forces. The central and western parts remained occupied by 120.000 German troops until the surrender. Our current home town Amersfoort therefore wasn’t liberated through fighting but through the signing of the capitulation. The first allied forces reached Amersfoort on May 7th.

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Hanging the flag at halfmast at home. The little one insisted on helping me.