King and Prime Minister to attend Veterans’ Day

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will attend the 11th Dutch Veterans’ Day in The Hague on Saturday 27 June.

After a gathering in the Ridderzaal, where Mr Rutte will give a speech, 80 veterans will receive medals on the Binnenhof. Four of these decorations will be presented by the prime minister and defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. 20 veterans, including 15 who served in Lebanon 30 years ago, will receive the new Nobel Peace Prize medal for UN military personnel.

This year the National Veterans’ Day Committee organised a drawing competition for primary school pupils. The children were asked to draw pictures after veterans visited their schools to talk about the role veterans played in freedom, democracy, war and peace. The drawings of the winning class have been compiled in a booklet that will be presented to King Willem-Alexander.

In the afternoon the King will take the salute at the march-past on Kneuterdijk. More than 100 detachments from all four armed forces services will take part, including about 60 veterans’ detachments.

Dutch Veterans’ Day was established by the government and is organised by the National Veterans’ Day Committee, with support from the Ministry of Defence. The event honours the more than 115,000 Dutch veterans who have been deployed – as far back as the Second World War to as recently as the peace mission in Mali – in the service of peace. The aim is to increase public recognition and appreciation for veterans.