Ever since the Homomonument was unveiled in 1987, GLBTQ representatives gather on the large pink triangles on Remembrance Day (4th of May). The first Remembrance Day at the Homomonument in Amsterdam took place in 1988. It started out with just a handful of people, but has since become an impressive alternative to the national Remembrance Day on Amsterdam’s Dam Square.
Meanwhile, the people living in the neighborhood have also discovered the location to commemorate the past, present and future. This year, race car driver Mike Verschuur (27) is the invited guest speaker.
The government is represented by Jet Bussemaker, the Minister for Education, Culture and Science. She will give a short speech and lay flowers. Gay interest groups COC Amsterdam and COC Netherlands will take turns on the podium. This year, COC President Tanja Ineke will respond to the national theme: “Those who close their eyes to the past are blind to the future.” This in the context of being true to yourself as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
On behalf of the City Council and the Mayor, the alderwoman for Education, Youth and Diversity Simone Kukenheim will lay flowers on the triangle on the water. Every year, wreaths are placed by the COC and representatives of the police (Pink in Blue), the fire brigade, ambulances, the Ministry of Defense, the tax service, the Workplace Pride Proud, Poz and Proud, and political parties. “Gay organizations” with a humanistic, Jewish, Roman-Catholic and protestant background, and for the first time this year, GLBT youth with Turkish and Moroccan (Islamic) roots, will also place flowers.
The music will be in the hands of the Regiment Brass Band Grenadiers and Rifles Guard. The Chamber Choir Sine Nomine, directed by Paul Valk, makes a vocal contribution. Besides the Dutch national anthem, they will also bring a part of the works of Russian composer Sergej Rachmaninov, and “Der Winter ist vergangen,” a section of “Annelies,” a piece on the life of Anne Frank. This will be performed after the commemoration at Westerkerk around 21:15.
The silent walk to the Homomonument will start at 19:30 on Prinsengracht near the main entrance of the Westerkerk, with the arrival at the monument around 19:45. The program on Westermarkt will take place from 19:45 to 20:45 with afterwards coffee and a concert at Westerkerk.
The 4th of May Remembrance Day at the Homomonument is organized by representatives of the Homomonument Foundation, COC Amsterdam, the Police/Pink in Blue, Stichting Homoseksualiteit en Krijgsmacht (SHK), and MVS Gay Station. The Westerkerk and PinkPoint provide the facility services.