On December 25, 2015, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands delivered his 2015 Christmas message. The pre-recorded speech was filmed at Villa Eikenhorst in Wassenaar earlier this week.
Below is a rough translation of His Majesty’s speech.
“Christmas gives us a moment of reflection. To get away from the daily flow of events can be more clearly where we believe in ourselves and that we ourselves stand for.
It is also a need, now that Europe is facing one of the biggest challenges of the past few decades. The attacks in Paris are still fresh in our memory. In the regions around us are large groups of people through terror and violence adrift. They search in the Netherlands a safe haven and a chance at a better life.
Many people in the Netherlands are worried about the future and wonder how we can protect our own way of life in a world which we can not close us.
What is particularly close to our heart, our freedom and ability to make our own choices. That freedom is fought so hard and put so many sacrifices!
In May this year my wife and I in Canada. We spoke to a group of Canadian veterans. One of them was the 90-year-old Bud Hannam. In 1945 he fought in the battle for the liberation of Apeldoorn. He told how he then looked back and his words made a big impression on me. He said, “It cost me my youth. But I feel that it was’ t worth afterwards. To see the freedom … and the joy of the people who were liberated. “
Freedom is so essential to the Netherlands, from the very beginning. At King’s Day this year we were in the Court of the Netherlands in Dordrecht, which took place in 1572 the first Free State Congress. There we signed along with other Dutch, the text: “Here the foundation was laid for an independent country. Where you are free to think what you think, believe what you believe and be who you are. “
What we have done with the freedom that has fought so hard over the centuries? Very Good! We have built a democratic state that belongs in many ways the strongest in the world. With a high level of prosperity and amenities. And with millions of citizens who selflessly for others. I spent the past year many of them met and talked. Great what you’re doing!
There is in our country to do much important work to involve everyone. Some feel abandoned and insufficiently heard. But our country – our place in the world – is precious to us. Netherlands is a country to call home.
Yet this did not make us invulnerable to worry and anxiety. About events overtake us and that we can not cope. About achievements that are not obvious.
Of course we want to protect what is dear to us. We do not stop our fear away or deny. But we must also not give the reins of our life and let him dominate our society through. Tranquility and mutual trust are friends of freedom. “Do not be afraid,” the angel in the Christmas night to the shepherds in the field.
When it comes to major challenges to show what we stand together, our democracy and our constitutional state. It is essential that people are the dignity and at peace with one another can continue to differ. Peace is not for the idle. It requires courage to listen to each other and their own ideas to keep critically. This courage is required from all of us, now we must work together to find a way in a turbulent time. The challenge is now to show what we together as liberated country are really worth.
In times like these is again clear how much we share with the countries around us. Belief in freedom. Respect for the life of every human being and for everyone’s right to make their own choices. Solidarity with those who really need our help. Concern for the future of our planet, as this month appeared in Paris, where the European countries united marched.
These values are the heartbeat of our society. They are essential for us as free people and always give us the strength to continue.
Our combined strength farther and connects more than we sometimes think. We do not crawl back into our shell. On the contrary. What fits, is proud of our free and open way of life. Our belief that everyone in our Kingdom on an equal footing should be able to participate. And our law that protects what is defenseless and prevents only be heard the loudest voices.
The complex world in which we live is not as challenges more difficult than that for generations had to face before us. Who listens to veterans and persecuted and the diehards who have built our country after the war with scarce resources again, realizes that.
According to the apostle Paul, freedom is a calling. I have great confidence in the ability of our country – even now – to respond to this call and to remain a community of free people.
I wish all of you – wherever you happen to be and how well are your personal circumstances – a blessed Christmas.”