On 02 November, Westerveld organised a special memorial evening. Hundreds of candles, torches and lanterns lit up the memorial park and, as they arrived, each of the visitors (approximately 5,000) were given a candle that they could leave in a special place. Reactions were extremely positive.
The lit route through the park led them along poems, music and a wall of flowers for memorial cards. Benches had been placed around intimate campfires in various places, allowing visitors to find some peace and quiet. A separate stand had been set up for children where they could decorate candles and where they could plant flower bulbs in a special area of heart-shaped soil.
Visitors were impressed by the atmosphere. “The park’s so beautifully lit, it’s almost like a fairy tale. It gives you a warm feeling, even though we’re here because of sad events. And reflecting with your family and others, people you don’t know but who are here for the same reason, it just feels nice”, one of the visitors said.
Voor wie steek jij een kaarsje op?
During the memorial evening at Westerveld, live recordings were made for the KRO-NCRV TV show ‘Voor wie steek jij een kaarsje op?’ (who will you light a candle for?). During the broadcast – which was presented by Anita Witzier – the focus was on reflection. People told stories about their deceased loved ones. A map of the Netherlands had been placed in an open spot in the park where people left candles and in the crematorium’s inner courtyard, Pearl, Karin Bloemen and Jamai performed comforting songs. You can watch the show here: https://www.kro-ncrv.nl/voorwiesteekjijeenkaarsjeop/seizoenen/seizoen-2017/voor-wie-steek-jij-een-kaarsje-op