National Monument (Nationaal Monument op de Dam)
Standing high in the center of Amsterdam’s Dam Square, the National Monument (Nationaal Monument op de Dam) is the Netherlands’ most important World War II memorial. In 1945, shortly after the end of the war, a liberty pole was erected in Dam Square; it evolved into the present-day 72-feet tall monument, which was unveiled on May 4 1956 by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. Every May 4 since then, the Dutch royal family and local residents participate in National Remembrance Day and pay their respects to fallen soldiers from both WWII and subsequent armed conflicts involving the Netherlands.
Dutch architect J.J.P. Oud created the travertine stone monument, while John Rädecker and his sons designed the monument's sculptures. One of the most striking features is the Peace relief, which depicts four chained male figures demonstrating the misery endured during the war. The conical pillar is inscribed with a Latin message meaning, "Here, where the heart of the fatherland is, may this monument, which citizens carry in their heart, gaze at God's stars."
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