The National Monument launched on the Dam Square in Amsterdam in 1956 honors those who have paid the ultimate price World War II. The Dutch people converge on the National Monument on the occasion of the ceremony titled ‘Remembrance of the Dead’, which is held annually in May to commemorate the soldiers and civilians.
The monument in the capital city was erected way back in 1947 with urns that contain soil from the war zone where the Dutch were killed and from wartime cemeteries situated across the Netherlands. Three years after that, another urn was added on the monument’s wall with soil captured from Dutch East Indies colony, which is now modern-day Indonesia.
However, it would still take further three years for the National Monument to get officially launched on the public square situated in the midst of Amsterdam. In fact, the Dutch government had undertaken contracted restoration works to transform the monument during the 1960’s and late 1990’s, which was when its brick pillar was replaced with concrete. The monument’s pillar has an inscription in Latin as well as a poem written in Dutch, which can be found behind it.
The walls of the National Monument have a dozen urns in all. The structure that is over seventy foot high has likenesses of human figures and dogs, which are all symbolic of the Dutch resistance, peace, and war. People place wreathes on the monument during the annual ceremony held in May in Amsterdam city and observe a couple of minutes of silence in memory of fallen civilians and soldiers.
Dam Square had a historic monument, which stood before the National Monument until 1914 in honor of the wartime campaign that lasted 10 days in 1831. It is the proposal from the Dutch government that paved way for the construction of the monument that takes its place today.
The National Monument was designed by Dutch sculptor John Radecker, who was commissioned to construct the monument on the main square in the capital city. It was the then Mayor of Amsterdam, who proposed to construct it using the designs of Radecker, and contracted it to Dutch architect Jacobus Johannes Pieter Oud. Two lions guard the symbolic wartime monument, which is a sight to behold when you tour Amsterdam.