Renee van Bavel



Commissioned by the Dutch National Veterans Committee, I created the official opening ceremony of the National Veterans Day 2017 in the Ridderzaal in The Hague.

In order to develop the script, the texts and the music for the ceremony, I had inspiring conversations with two Dutch veterans: Ahmad Azizi and Manja Blok. Both veterans carry an impressive story with them. Ahmad Azizi fled Afghanistan to the Netherlands as a young boy and now works for the Dutch military police at Schiphol Airport. Manja Blok is the world’s first female F16 pilot and made her contribution to the peace mission in former Yugoslavia.

Inspired by their experiences and stories, I wrote the script and composed the songs “Voel je de vrede?” (Do you feel the peace?), ”Wie maakt van het woord een daad” (Who turns words into deeds?) and “De Veteraan” (The Veteran).

The opening ceremony took place on 24th June 2017, accompanied by the Royal Dutch Military Orchestra “Johan Willem Friso” and in the presence of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander. Further in attendance to this presentation of the official opening of National Veterans Day 2017 were;the Knights of the Military Willems Order, the Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Members of Parliament, Students and many Veterans. 

The Ceremony was broadcasted live on Dutch National Television.