Air disaster has left a 'deep wound' in Dutch society, says king
King Willem-Alexander has spoken of his sorrow at the death of so many Dutch nationals in last week's air disaster in Ukraine.
Speaking to the nation after he and queen Máxima met relatives of those who died at a special gathering in Nieuwegein, the king talked of the inner strength which people show at times of tragedy.
‘We have been deeply moved by the harrowing personal stories from people who have lost loved ones,’ the king said. ‘Their sorrow, their powerlessness and their despair cuts into our souls.’
The king said he shared the wish of the relatives to gain clarity about the cause of the disaster.
‘We know this will not repair their loss. The sadness is immense. The only thing we could do today is listen to their stories,’ he said.
The impact of the crash has left a deep wound in society and the scars will be visible and felt for years, he said.
The strength and compassion needed at times like these are ‘values which our country has at crucial moments,’ the king said, and went on to praise everyone involved with helping the relatives and friends of the victims.
‘Family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and club mates, you are now so needed,’ the king said.