Residents of NL always support Remembrance and Liberation Day
A large majority of Dutch residents still think it is important to commemorate National Remembrance Day on May 4 and Liberation Day one day later. The National May 4-5 Committee reported this based on the 2022 National Freedom Survey. Of those who responded to the survey after Russia invaded Ukraine, more than six out of ten are most concerned about the war.
Dutch residents regard May 4 and 5 as particularly important because of the sense of community and because they consider it essential to reflect on the people who died for freedom. Another factor is the importance of realizing “that something like World War II should never happen again,” the Committee said.
Support for May 4 is virtually unaffected, with 83% saying they find the national commemoration important or very important. It was 85% last year. Support for Liberation Day has dropped slightly from 79% last year to 75% this year.
The Committee has also commissioned research into the feelings that Dutch history evokes in Dutch residents. It showed that around one in five people feel “gratitude and pride”. “People are grateful for the liberation, the liberators and to be able to live in the Netherlands,” the Committee said. Residents of the Netherlands are often proud that their “small country” was “big” in some areas and then think, for example, of the Golden Age and the battle against water.
One in ten respondents said they were ashamed of the Netherlands’ past, often citing colonial times and the history of slavery. In this, the researchers see “significant differences” between population groups. Dutch residents of Indonesian descent are most often ashamed of the country’s past. People of Caribbean or Surinamese descent feel anger more often.
The National Freedom Survey is an annual survey of public support for commemoration and celebration in the Netherlands. The research agency Centerdata carried out this research on behalf of the National Committee on May 4 and 5. More than 1,300 Dutch residents took part this year.
Incidentally, May 5 is not a public holiday, but many people have a day off every five years. For years, there have been rumors that Liberation Day will become an annual vacation day. According to Piet Fortuin of the FNV union, such additional leave could bring in more than it costs. “People spend a lot of money on such vacations, for example at festivals and in catering. Vacations can also have a stress-relieving effect. Important in times when employers spend a few billion euros a year on maintenance costs. absenteeism resulting from stress.”