Jul 25, 2014

Dutch grieve while ‘life goes on’

The Dutch have a reputation for being practical and level-headed, but shock and grief over MH17 run deep, writes Priya de Langen.

In the Netherlands, July 23 was a national day of mourning for the people who lost their lives in flight MH17. Of the 298 victims, 193 were Dutch. National flags across the country flew at half-mast, churches rang their bells and a minute of silence was observed. It was the day the first 40 victims’ bodies arrived in Eindhoven airbase.

Live coverage showed Prime Minister Mark Rutte, King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, members of the Dutch cabinet and dignitaries of nine other nations that have lost citizens paying their respects. The press stood at the outskirts of the airbase looking on at the ceremony in the hot afternoon sun. Members of the public watched from a highway bridge, throwing down white roses as the hearses drove past to Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks in Hilversum. Waiting outside the barracks, friends and family of the victims looked on at the hearses, crying softly.

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4 thoughts on “Dutch grieve while ‘life goes on’

  1. Peter Watson

    “The crime scene is about as contaminated as it gets: bodies removed, searched by rebels, looted. That disgusts me, by the way, the disrespect, and the fact the dead were not left to rest in peace or properly recovered.”
    Some thing like this is in every article. What should the local civilian volunteers do that was right.
    Leave everything untouched or collect the bodies before they decompose. Eight days now and apart from a lot of reporters and a small team of aviation experts, still nobody on site.

  2. Marty

    Peter, I do agree with you, although I think that families are justifiably outraged that the locals appear to have appropriated the victims’ phones, cameras and anything else of value that wasn’t destroyed.

  3. Peter Watson

    Marty yes the bulk of the article is good. On the subject of looting it is hard to track down solid evidence, though there is no doubt some would have occurred. On a number of earlier articles demonising the locals I have been able to find original videos for pics ect, and all that I been able to find the source, show the local are being deliberately demonised by western media. It is sad to see in virtually every article on the crash.
    On the subject of mobile phone and credit card theft, we have to rely totally on a reporters word, which lately is very untrustworthy.

  4. Liz Connor

    The plane fell into a war-torn area, and could have been downed by a Ukrainian or a rebels’ missile. The Ukraine government has not stopped targeting the area, and reports that I have read say that rebel soldiers have been treating passengers’ belongings with respect, e.g. crossing themselves when they find remains or possessions, and taking miscellaneous possessions to place on roadside piles so that they can be collected more easily. Cropped Images or film sequences in the media don’t always tell the real story – as we should all know by now. Remember ‘children overboard’?

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