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Thirtieth May 4 Remembrance Day at Homomonument: Personal Story is Key

by Redaktie in Events & Agenda , 01 May 2017

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

This year again on and around our Pride Monument, the Homomonument, the Second World War (1940-1945) will be commemorated on May 4 after two minutes of silence at 20:00.

The monument, that was designed by landscape artist Karin Daan (1944) and unveiled in 1987, however, reminds us of even more moments in history: The Past on the ground level with a line of poetry by Jacob Israël de Haan: “Naar vriendschap zulk een mateloos verlangen” (Such an immense longing for friendship), the Present in the shape of a staircase leading to the waterfront, and the Future as represented by the podium, a place to reveal yourself above the crowd. In speeches that were held on the monument, these three moments are often mentioned.

But what do we stand for in 2017? The National Committee will continue to appeal to everyone to commit to the value of freedom. The Committee does so with the theme “Pass on Freedom.” Arendo Joustra (editor-in-chief of “Elsevier” magazine) wrote this year’s theme text, “The Strength of the Personal Story.”


COC Nederland and COC Amsterdam alternated annually to briefly speak at the commemoration. “But there are more gay movements,” Master of Ceremonies Menne Vellinga notes. “Therefore this year, Daan Smeelen of Stichting Homomonument will speak. Smeelen has been committed to the GLBT movement for years. Think of the Pride Walk, which this year will take place on Saturday, July 29th. Also, the thirtieth anniversary of our Pride Monument will be commemorated.”

Eric van de Burg (VVD) is a councillor for the city of Amsterdam. Van de Burg regularly attends GLBT related meetings. What is this politician’s personal story?

Guest speaker this year is TV and movie director Tim Oliehoek (1979). Is there a personal note in Oliehoek’s film directing? Who gets which part? And sometimes, that includes gay people. How do you “show” them? For Tim Oliehoek it is a challenge and honour to have the opportunity to speak out.

A brass ensemble of the Regimentsfanfare Garde Grenadiers en Jagers is responsible for a musical note. Sjors van der Panne will perform some songs in the Dutch language.

Talk Afterwards

The possibility to have a talk afterwards was “missed” in recent years. This year, the Westerkerk will open its doors for this. From 20:30 onwards, there is coffee/tea or a soft drink available.

Silent Walk

Preceding the ceremony on the Homomonument is the Silent Walk that departs around 19:30 from Prinsengracht (Westerkerk) - including the wreath bearers - for a short route along the Anne Frankhuis, the Leliegracht and Herengracht. It then goes through the Raadhuisstraat crossing the Niek Engelschman Bridge (the founder of the C.O.C in 1946) to end at the Homomonument.

Previous years, flowers were laid by individuals and on behalf of the Homosexuality and Army Foundation, Police Force Netherlands Pink in Blue, Fire Department Netherlands network Pink Red, Ambulance Services Netherlands, and the Ministry of Justice - Roze recht! B/Proud of the Tax Service and Customs. Religious groups also attend on a yearly basis, as do Stichting Transman, Haardvuur, Roze 50+, Roze Gebaar, Stichting de Kringen, PozandProud, as well as A.S.V.Gay, the Amsterdam fraternity with a pink touch. All political parties in the Amsterdam council will close the ceremony on the triangle on the Keizersgracht.

The audience on and around the Homomonument is diverse. Local residents and students from around the corner in between the gay rights veterans, GLBT interest groups, and passers-by from home and abroad.

Brief Program Overview Homomonument May 4

19:30 - Silent Walk - Gathering at the entrance of Westerkerk Prinsengracht;
19:50 - Welcome speech on the Homomonument on Westermarkt;
20:00 - Two minutes of silence, followed by three speakers and activities; The laying of wreaths; Defile;
20:30 - Westerkerk open to have a talk.

Army, Police, Fire Dept and Ambulance serv.

See for information about guest speaker Tim Oliehoek and for information about guest artist Sjors van der Panne

Photography by Geert van Tol (c)



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