Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Lack of trust and a greater lack of trust

The two minute silence

Today on May the Fourth is the day of the commemoration of those who died during the Second World War. In most communities in The Netherlands there is a gathering at 20:00 hours and a two minute silence is observed. The biggest gathering is on the Dam in Amsterdam, which is attended by the Queen.

The bad memories

This year there was some extra tension as last year there had been an attempt to kill the Queen on April the 30ieth, Queensday. Both days are linked in the Dutch national psyche if only because they are just four days apart.

The event

As usual a large crowd had gathered on the Dam to watch the ceremony of wreath laying, military music and the two minute silence. Halfway into the silence a man started screaming an incoherent yell. Then someone else yelled as well and then a mass panic broke out. The crowd surged, children and grown ups were trampled. There were dozens of lightly injured and a considerable number of broken bones.

The applause

After a short while people calmed down. The master of ceremonies announced a calming message and people even applauded. For what?

The soothing message

Later this night the authorities announced that they had arrested a man, a criminal and a drugsdealer and that he will be investigated.

The conclusion.

People are insecure and jittery. Trust is lower than it has been in a long time. It will only go down further.