Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Hague Commemorates

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The city of The Hague was also hit hard in the Second World War. Each district has its own history; every resident has his or her own stories. To get to know these stories and each other better, Huis voor de Stad is once again organizing a city-wide commemoration of the dead this year.

On Saturday, May 4, everyone is welcome at ‘The Hague Commemorated’ in the Grote Kerk.

Reflecting on precious freedom

Wietske Verkuyl, program manager Huis voor de Stad: “In 2021, together with various organizations in The Hague, we decided to revive an old tradition: an annual commemoration meeting in the Grote Kerk, where we talk to each other, share stories and experiences, commemorate war victims and reflect on the preciousness of freedom. Every year since then, the responses and increasing visitor numbers show how important it is to come together during this period. And relevant, unfortunately, given the current war situation in various places around the world. We hope to offer visitors comfort and connection on this day.”

Talking about exclusion

Prior to the commemoration meeting, Dialoog in The Hague is organizing a dialogue around the theme ‘Creeping exclusion’ from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The Second World War was characterized by premeditated large-scale, gradual and systematic exclusion of population groups, motivated by ideology and racism. During the dialogue, attendees engage in small group discussions, sharing stories and experiences around the theme.

Young people make short films and works of art

Wendy Meijer, initiator of Dialoog in The Hague: “We think it is important that we pay attention to the systematic exclusion of groups, then and now. Unfortunately, exclusion is still the order of the day. By talking to each other and sharing experiences, we learn from the past and become stronger in the present. In March, in preparation for May 4, a dialogue meeting was organized with twenty-two students from Segbroek College, who entered into discussions with elderly people who experienced the war themselves or who experienced the consequences of the war up close.

Based on these dialogues, a short film was made and the young people presented works of art around the theme. Both the short film and the works of art can be seen during the May 4 commemoration in the Grote Kerk.”   Global program The Hague Commemorates in the Grote Kerk: Word of welcome by mayor Jan van Zanen; Music by the Ural Cossack Choir and the Ukrainian Orchestra Uzory; Inspiring interview with Hanneke Gelderblom; Lecture by John Dunkelgrün, author of the book ‘Where should I go’; Recitation of poem by a student from the Sorghvliet Gynnasium; Musical recitation on piano by a student from Segbroek College; Connecting peace ritual.

The Hague Commemoration program starts at 6:00 PM and lasts until 7:00 PM. The doors open at 5:30 PM. After the memorial meeting, all visitors are invited for a joint walk to Carnegie Square, where the wreath-laying ceremony and two minutes of silence will take place.  

To register You can register for the dialogue and the commemoration meeting via the website www.huisvoordestad-denhaag.nl or by sending an email tokantoor@grote-kerk.nl .

The Hague Commemoration is a joint initiative of the Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk Foundation, Dialogue in The Hague, the Segbroek College, the Sorghvliet Gymnasium, the Prinsjesdag Celebration Foundation, the Protestant Church in The Hague, the Hague Community of Churches, The Hague Connecting Initiatives and Kleurrijk Segbroek and the National Remembrance Foundation The Hague.

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