Thursday, May 8, 2008

The 5th of May

Some people call it Cinco de Mayo, but we Dutch call it Liberation Day. It's in commemoration of the end of WWII for Holland. On May 4th the country has a memorial for all those that died during the war. Yearly on the 4th, the queen gives a speech at the Dam, places a wreath on the monument located in the square followed by 2 minutes of silence at 8pm. I wasn't able to attend because I get to talk to my family every Sunday night which happened to be the same time it occurred this year. However, all was not lost. While May 4th is the Memorial Day, May 5th is the day of celebration. Among the parties that go on around the city, Queen Beatrice attends the final event of the evening, and of course I was there... along with thousands of other people.

At 9pm a symphony played at the Amstel River amongst the many canal boats and a floating long and narrow gazebo for royalty and the lucky. The rest of us get to cram into any available spot on the road across the river. Since I arrived late, I got to see a split second glimpse of the queen, between the heads of those in front of me, as she took her seat. Later on I found a less crowded spot a bit farther away. I met a lady from Finland on vacation for her birthday. Lucky her got to see the queen only 4 feet away as she had walked out of her hotel, and had pictures to brag about it. No... I wasn't jealous... not one bit. Ah well, I'm sure I'll have other opportunities.

It was nice to be able to enjoy the symphony that evening amongst all the European architecture and the beautiful weather. I left 10 mins before it ended, and was able to make it home in time to turn on the TV and see the Queen sail away on her boat, up close that time.

1 comment:

CANADIAN AMERICAN FAMILY said...

You have an exciting life!