THE FLAME OF FREEDOM In the photographs of the meeting between Canadian General Charles Foulkes and German General Johannes Blaskowitz in Hotel De Wereld in Wageningen on the 5th of May 1945, you see mainly the high-ranking officers. But if you look carefully you can also see the reporters and photographers in the background. Sjoerd de Vrij, reporter for Radio Herrijzend Nederland was one of them. He wrote a report on the capitulation of the German armed forces, which meant the end of the Second World War for the Netherlands and other countries. “This is the best day of the war!”, said Sjoerd at the time. Like everyone else in the Netherlands, Sjoerd de Vrij and his family lost their freedom in May 1940. They only regained it five years later, thanks to the thousands of young Allied soldiers who risked their lives. Witnessing the liberation, Sjoerd and his friend, Canadian photographer Alex Stirton, believed that the willingness of these soldiers to fight for other people’s freedom should never be forgotten. This is why the Flame of Freedom has been passed on to new generations on the 4th of May every year since 1946.Sjoerd’s great-granddaughter Titia plans to do her part to keep the Flame of Freedom alive!