Tomorrow, the fifth of May, Dutch people celebrate the end of the Second World War.
It is a bank holiday and all kind of festivities are planned all through the country.
But today, at 8 o'clock in the evening, we remember our countrymen who died in the Second World War and in military missions since then.
The ceremony is held in Amsterdam at the national monument on the Dam.
The King and Queen will be present.
At exactly 20.00 hours there will be two minutes silence for those fallen, murdered, gassed and or deported.
National TV transmits the ceremony on all channels.
After that the national anthem, Wilhelmus van Nassouwe, is played and speeches are held and flower ornaments presented. People can walk by to pay their personal respect.
Thousands are gathered in silence.
The Wilhelmus has been the official Dutch national anthem since 1932, but it has been the national hymn for a few hundred years before. It is considered to be the oldest National Anthem in the world.
Its melody originated as a marching song in Flanders, which was a part of The Netherlands then. it was the French melody "O la folle entreprise du prince de Condé", sung during the siege of Chartres in 1568.
It originates from the bundle "Valerius Gedenckklank" of 1601.
Though there are a few paraphrases of the Wilhelmus by Jan Zwart on the Concert Hall,
the hymn itself has not been presented before.
So I thought it a good idea to play it for this solemn occasion.
The hymn is preceded by a little introduction, also an anonymous composition from about 1650.
Mostly only verse 1 and 6 are sung, so I only played those two on the Dom in Utrecht, a most fitting Dutch organ.
For those who can read Dutch those two are included.