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Commemoration in the living rooms of the Jaarbeurs

Published at: 3/9/2023, 10:52 AM

On 24 February 2023, one year of the invasion in Ukraine was remembered at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. Last year, the Jaarbeurs became for many Ukrainians the final point of their flee and the beginning of a life in the Netherlands. Last Friday, this place was again the point where Ukrainians and Dutch came together.

Commemoration in the living rooms of the Jaarbeurs

Hundreds of people start the morning of the 24th with the undefinedwalk of hopeundefined. This is a walk between the Central Station in Utrecht and the Jaarbeurs – the same route that many Ukrainians walked upon arrival in the Netherlands. People sang and stopped here and there to reflect on profound pictures from Ukraine.

The main hall of the Jaarbeurs is divided into different regions from Ukraine. Each region is recognisable by a recreated living room. There are couches, chairs and a TV, where images from the specific region can be seen. This idea comes from the Ukrainian foundation Vitalundefinednya, which organised this day. This way it is possible to meet people from the same city or region.

Standing in one of the living rooms is Marharyta. undefinedI have mixed feelings about this day. There is a lot of sadness, but it is also wonderful that we are here with so many people. Not only Ukrainians, but also Dutch people. This creates a great feeling.undefined At 11:00, President Zelensky opened the joint commemoration with an online speech and the national anthem was sung. undefinedItundefineds a difficult day for us,undefined Ellen says. undefinedIundefinedve been crying all day. I am grateful that my child and I and now are in safety. But back home, in Ukraine, there are so many people in danger.undefined

A Dutchman, Pierre, also came to the Jaarbeurs. His blue-and-yellow suit, the Ukrainian flag and a sunflower make him stand out. undefinedI am here because I was immediately touched by the situation in Ukraine. I saw on TV that a couple was trying to flee, but just at that moment there was a Russian attack. It was terrible to see. Today, as a Dutchman, I am trying to provide support to the Ukrainian people.undefined

Thinking about the future is not easy, but Marharyta and Ellen remain hopeful. undefinedWe are going to win this battle! After that, we can rebuild a life in Ukraine.undefined

Compilation video of the commemoration throughout the Netherlands

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