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The Netherlands, a nation in mourning as MH17 victims arrive home

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The Netherlands, a nation in mourning as MH17 victims arrive home


The Netherlands has received the first bodies from the Malaysia Airlines flight that crashed last week over eastern Ukraine. A ceremony was held at Eindhoven air base.

Euronews correspondent James Franey was there throughout the day and spoke to Paul McDowell.

James Franey: “We were walking around Eindhoven this morning speaking to locals and to sum up the mood it really was a mix of grief, anger and disbelief. A lot of people were asking themselves how this could happen to Dutch citizens? Many of them had just broken up from school, from university, were taking their annual vacation on their way to Malaysia and further afield. Really a lot of anger not just on the streets of Eindhoven but across the Netherlands. You will have seen the massive floral tributes at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam that have been amassed over the past few days.”

Paul McDowell: “How much has that grief united the people of the city?”

James Franey: “Well indeed Paul it is not just in the city but again across the whole country. Just a few moments ago at four o’clock sharp the entire country came to a standstill to respect a minute’s silence. Not only the dignitaries here but also schools, offices, even public transport, television and radio stations came to a complete halt as they paid their respect to the Dutch citizens who lost their lives on this final flight.”

Paul McDowell: “The return of the bodies has sharpened the world’s gaze on the city. Tomorrow of course it’s back to work. How difficult do you think it’s going to be for these people you have talked to and the grief you have seen to get back to some form of normality?”

James Franey: “Well to answer your question, really the people of Eindhoven have been trying to get back to normality already. As I said there have been those services in churches, in schools and offices across the country and that’s the way the Dutch people are trying to deal with this terrible tragedy.”

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