About this day.. the Motherland. May 4th and 5th always have been important days for me, whether I’m in the Netherlands or elsewhere. Being of the post-war generation (my father was a war-baby, born just before the official liberation of the Netherlands), and having grandparents who either fought in this war, the previous one, or have been part of the resistance; May 4th is a special day. I make it a point not to skip it, and pay my respects to the fallen Dutchmen, -women, children, soldiers and everyone else. Hence, at 6PM I keep my mouth shut for a few minutes and remember my grandparents.


Having never served myself, I probably have less empathy for soldiers who voluntarily join whatever service their country provides and go to war, but often to complain afterwards how gruesome it is, questioning why they’re being sent out to x-y-z country for ‘humanitarian missions’, etc. etc. You signed up for it. Back in WW1&2 days service wasn’t voluntary (for the Dutch), and it was obviously do or die when this foreign army stampeded into the country to annex it as their own. Much respect.


May 5th is traditionally the day when in the Netherlands the lid comes off. Celebrations, festivals, parties throughout the country. Back in ‘my day’ it was utter mayhem in the capital and the other larger cities. Often combined with other events worthy of celebration, and without prejudice but with truckloads of pride.


So, today might be International Star Wars Day, for which I’d usually get rather excited being a huge fan myself; today I have mixed feelings about this. And I’ll stick with what I’m used to..which is mum’s-the-word in about 10 minutes from now. It’s the least I can do.