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thank you for my freedom

From the balcony at the front entrance of the museum I saw this girl who is probably -not- talking to the seagull privately, it might just look that way:

To celebrate Liberation day, 65 years since 5 May 1945, there were bands on portable stages all over the place. One was "RotFront", Red Front, from Berlin. I thought it was ironic that a German band would come over to help celebrate a German defeat, but I was told by my Dutch friends that I live too much in the past. Here are a bunch of colleagues photographing them, I'm behind the cam you can't see:

This band tells us that they don't come from Germany at all, they're part of Immigration Nation, and they will sell you I-N passports so you can have a valid one before the police come to check you out; it's the only one that will be approved so hurry to buy yours now. Along with their CD's lol.

Besides guitarists, they had a hot horn section; Greta doesn't really dye her hair rose purple, we do it all with light...

And the drummer looks like he's giving a political speech here; the baritone II sax is REALLY THAT BIG and Greta uses her killer smile a lot:

I don't know what it means to have ever lived in an occupied country, with no liberties, fearing a knock on the door in the middle of the night. Plenty of Dutch families can remember this all too well, from kids who were little then, to their grandparents today, many of whom are veterans. Celebration of liberty means, even if you're small and have no grass field to practice on, you can still find a free place to go out in the weather and work on your hockey shot style:

There was a veterans parade in Apeldoorn, a small town near here, featuring lots of veterans, including women; members of the Canadian First Army who came back over here to celebrate. They originally liberated almost all of the country in 1945, so they are nearly all returning in their eighties now, one is ninety. The interviewer asked one of them what had made the deepest impression on him during the parade.

He said that a young man on his bike had stopped in front the truck, dismounted, and said to him, 'Thank you for my freedom.' Which he and all the other Canadian youth had come halfway around the world to fight for, and many to give their lives for. The young man brought him to tears, as he described it for TV.

And then there's *Jannetje. With Dutch flags painted on her cheeks, wearing a patriotic orange hat.

She's sitting in the middle of a park field where the nation's biggest garage sale for kids, run by kids, is held. Great values for 10 or 20 Eurocents. She's celebrating a sunny day, just a short walk from the woods where enemy missles were launched during a war that must seem very very far away ago in time, far from the few years she has lived up to now. I met her whole family and bought two cupcakes from her.

There are lots of things to remember to give thanks for. And to have hopes that she and really all of us will never have to live in fear of war. Or of the things that drive war, like intolerances and hatreds.

Something to give thanks for, and to work for. In whatever ways we can.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
May. 18th, 2010 09:58 am (UTC)
Ha that's the only one I didn't take personally!
But I loved the shadow effects on the wet bricks.

Think what she will do once she loses her boots and gets onto a proper grass field... I would not want to try to defend against her. Determination to the max... !
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
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