Their Queen announced victory and peace for the Dutch people and claimed 5 May 1945 as their Victory Day, as papers were signed in Wageningen of a treaty, with Germany’s admitted defeat. Hundreds of American B-17 bombers roared overhead during those weeks of change.
Airplanes no longer dropped loads of bombs, but food and supplies, much to the relief of Dutch citizens. The Netherlands was liberated, and citizens marveled at how the people remained strong and determined, with courage through adversity.
On Liberation Day, bells across the northern part of the country chimed once again, and activities in each place came to a silent halt, a both moving and powerful end to the war.
Food drops on the 2nd of May provided relief for the starving Dutch citizens, with a white cross and green flares serving as drop-spots for British planes on the important mission of dropping 500 tons of food.
Two Canadian soldiers assigned to their Hilversum home post-liberation brought along gifts of chewing gum and toffees for their new Dutch friends, and Diny slowly savored each bite of toffee; chocolate tasted especially sweet after many years without such a luxury. Chewing gum was just as wonderful as ever, and she quickly allowed herself to recall little indulgences they lived without for four years.
Shipments of food began arriving and the care packages which airplanes dropped included white bread, butter, and sardines. White bread tasted like cake after years of eating ground up tulip bulbs!
After the war, they learned of the real annihilation and devastation, and Diny sought to reconcile, a way to move forward, away from hate and bitterness.
Post-war was an intense season of emotion for being alive, shock the War had finally ended, and later, once those initial feelings subsided, incredible gratitude coupled with disbelief and sorrow for those who were lost, candles of their own generation extinguished without memory or testimony.
Adapted from In Those Other Lands