His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will join Prime Minister Rutte on Monday 17 July for the unveiling of the national monument for the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17).
The monument is an initiative of the victims’ families and consists of 298 trees, one for each victim, planted in the shape of a ribbon and a memorial plaque. Each of the trees will come with a name tag, the memorial plaque will be in the centre of the ribbon and will be in the shape of an eye looking up at the sky. The iris of the eye will also of have the names of the victims engraved. The ribbon of trees was designed by landscape architect Robbert de Koning, while the plaque was designed by artist Ronald A. Westerhuis.
The theme of the monument will be “to live on.” The unveiling of the monument will take place as the families walk through the ribbon of trees, with the King and Queen walking in the front with 17 children from Vijfhuizen. They will then meet with relatives of the victims, and around 2000 people are expected to come, including representatives from the other countries involved with the disaster.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine, claiming the lives of all 298 people on board. The majority of the victims were from the Netherlands (193), but the victims also came from Belgium, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. When the King and Queen visited Australia last year, Tony Smith, a member of the Australian House of Representatives said, “Australia and the Netherlands will forever be connected in their determination to keep the memory of those 298 innocent people who lost their lives alive.”