Remembrance ceremony for the victims of MH17

It is exactly a year since the MH17 air disaster that killed all 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch nationals. A remembrance ceremony for the victims was held this afternoon in Nieuwegein. The private gathering for family, friends and acquaintances was organised by a special working group.

Around 1,300 relatives, from the Netherlands and abroad attended the ceremony, which they themselves had put together. During the ceremony, the names of all the victims were read out.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte addressed the gathering on behalf of the government. Other government representatives invited by the working group included security and justice minister Van der Steur, foreign minister Koenders, interior minister Plasterk and environment minister Mansveld. Today, the Dutch flag will be flown at half-mast on the main government buildings in commemoration of the victims.

The prime minister ended his address with the words, ‘However you experience this moment, one thing is certain: the victims of MH17, your loved ones, will never be forgotten. I hope that this remembrance will be a source of hope and strength for you.’