Extra information concerning the National Commemoration of MH17

Preparations for the National Commemoration of MH17 on Monday 10 November at RAI Amsterdam are nearing its final phase.

The official ceremony and the subsequent informal gathering will be attended by more than 1600 surviving relatives, including dozens of surviving relatives from abroad. About 150 family investigators will attend as well as a large number of supervisors from Victim Support Netherlands (Slachtofferhulp Nederland).

Focus on surviving relatives

The ceremony has been planned based on ideas and wishes of the surviving relatives. Attention will be focused on them during the commemoration. Three surviving relatives will make a speech and one surviving relative will recite a poem. An important component is the naming of all 298 victims by more than thirty surviving relatives.

Guard of honour full of flowers

All the names of the victims are marked on two long and high walls that will be erected in front of the hall of ceremonies. That's where surviving relatives and invited guests will be able to leave flowers. This will form a guard of honour full of flowers.

Speech by the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Mark Rutte will make a speech on behalf of the government. Jacobine Geel will conclude the substantive part of the programme. Maartje van Weegen is the Master of Ceremonies.

The ceremony's music arrangements will be conducted by the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Choir and the Netherlands Children’s Choir. In addition, there will be performances by Marco Borsato, Lenette van Dongen, Douwe Bob and Glennis Grace.

Photographs of the victims

At the end of the ceremony a montage of photographs of the victims that have been provided by surviving relatives will be projected onto a screen in the hall of ceremonies.

Presence of the Royal House

Aside from King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, Princess Beatrix, Princess Margriet and prof. Pieter van Vollenhoven will also be present at the RAI. Furthermore, the most involved members of the cabinet, the Presidents and members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament and ambassadors from the countries that claimed victims, will be present. Other invited guests include the Mayors of the towns where the victims came from. Heads of State from other countries will not be present.

Flag code

On 10 November all the main central government buildings will fly the Dutch flag at half mast. Municipalities, provinces and diplomatic missions are requested to comply with this flag code.

Short version of programme

  • 13:00 Start of commemoration, opening by the Master of Ceremonies
  • Speech by Prime Minister Rutte
  • ‘VOOR ALTIJD’ (For Ever) by Marco Borsato
  • Speeches by two surviving relatives
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1796) - Requiem: ‘LACRIMOSA’
  • Speeche by surviving relative
  • ‘KOM DAN BIJ MIJ’ (Then Come to Me) by Lenette van Dongen
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber - Requiem: ‘PIE JESU’ by soprano Maartje Rammeloo
  • ‘LAST POST’ performed by Adjutant Warrant Officer Hans Bloemen, bugler at the chapel of the Netherlands Royal Air Force.
  • First verse of the Dutch national anthem, Wilhelmus
  • ‘BEAUTIFUL’ by Douwe Bob
  • Substantive closing by Jacobine Geel
  • Recitation by surviving relative
  • ‘I WAS HERE’ by Glennis Grace
  • Closing of ceremony approx. 14:30