Friday , December 1 2023

What the papers say – A day of national mourning: the day after


The day of national mourning to honour the victims of Malaysia Airline flight MH17 dominates Thursday’s newspapers, with most carrying a full page photograph of the ceremony. Dutch News gives an overview of  newspapers in the Netherlands.

‘Day of mourning gives the dead their dignity back’, is the Volkskrant’s headline.

‘Black plastic body bags have been replaced by simple wooden coffins. This day was not as rigorously ruled by protocol as in 1962 when the death of queen Wilhelmina forbade any form of public entertainment. The country mourned in a way that was appropriate to our society’, the paper writes.

Not everybody agreed the occasion was solemn enough. The Volkskrant reports that many people took to social media to criticise inappropriate behaviour on the day, from advertisements on buses – ‘One life, one shot, make it count’ – to radio stations playing songs like ‘High all the time’.


Trouw comments on the displays of ‘spontaneous mourning’ which took place throughout the country. Taxi drivers were wearing a black ribbon, public festivals were toned down for the occasion: ‘The day had no prescribed rules and didn’t need them.’

The Financieele Dagblad leads with a neutral ‘National show of mourning to honour victims of air disaster MH17’. ‘The way is now open to investigate the events and bring the perpetrators to book,’ the paper says.

The NRC Next headline also reflects the relief that the bodies of the victims were finally treated with respect.
The text ‘This is how you honour the dead’ accompanies a full-page photograph of some white roses being thrown from a fly-over onto the cortege passing below.

The Daily Herald mentions in an article that acting governor of St Eustatius sent condoleances on behalf of Executive and Isand Council and in another article with photo that also on St Eustatius the flag at the Historical Museum was flown half at mast.


In good hands

The Telegraaf echoes the sentiment with ‘In good hands’. The photograph shows the motorcade arriving at the Van Oudheusden army camp in Hilversum where the task of identifying the bodies will now begin.

A further 74 coffins are due to arrive in Eindhoven on Thursday. They, too, will be taken to Hilversum in a procession of hearses.

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