We’ve just arrived in Arnhem. The first stop on our visit to Holland to take part in the Dutch National Liberation celebrations is a visit to the Royal Home for Veterans. A brass band is playing, the streets are lined with people welcoming us, everyone here delighted to see the British veterans arriving in convoy in cabs.
Having been seen off from London yesterday by Great Brits Al Murray and Boris Johnson, we’ve been met in Arnhem by the Mayor, a wonderful lady called Paulien Krekke. As she talked on her speech about how important the British are to the Dutch, I realise they have a very different relationship to the idea of freedom here, having been occupied during the war.
The Dutch veterans have been invited to ‘have some nice conversations about the old times with the British veterans, our liberators’.
Very moved by the welcome so far.