Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: King Williem-Alexander, Queen Maxima Hold Solemn Reception Ceremony for Victims

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  • (L-R) King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte attend a national reception ceremony at Eindhoven airport July 23, 2014, for the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17
    (L-R) King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte attend a national reception ceremony at Eindhoven airport July 23, 2014, for the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine. The bodies of the first victims from the Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine last week arrived back in the Netherlands on Wednesday amid dignified grief tinged with anger. Bells pealed and flags flew at half mast during a national day of mourning in memory of the 298 people killed when flight MH17 crashed in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos
  • Coffins of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17, downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, are loaded into a hearse on the tarmac, during a national reception ceremony, at Eindhoven airport July 24, 2014
    Coffins of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17, downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, are loaded into a hearse on the tarmac, during a national reception ceremony, at Eindhoven airport July 24, 2014. REUTERS/Mischa Rapmund
  • A coffin of one of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, is carried from an aircraft, during a national reception ceremony, at Eindhoven airport July 24, 2014.
    A coffin of one of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, is carried from an aircraft, during a national reception ceremony, at Eindhoven airport July 24, 2014. REUTERS/Mischa Rapmund
  • A motorcade accompanies a row of hearses carrying the bodies of victims killed in Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane disaster arrives at the Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks in Hilversum July 23, 2014
    A motorcade accompanies a row of hearses carrying the bodies of victims killed in Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane disaster arrives at the Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks in Hilversum July 23, 2014. The bodies of the first victims from a Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine last week arrived back in the Netherlands on Wednesday amid dignified grief tinged with anger. Bells pealed and flags flew at half mast in memory of the 298 people killed when flight MH17 crashed in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists, in the first national day of mourning since wartime Queen Wilhelmina died in 1962. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
  • Family members of the victims killed in Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane disaster react next to Mayor Pieter Broertjes (R) as a row of hearses carrying the victims' bodies arrives at the Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks in Hilversum July 23, 2014
    Family members of the victims killed in Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane disaster react next to Mayor Pieter Broertjes (R) as a row of hearses carrying the victims' bodies arrives at the Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks in Hilversum July 23, 2014. The bodies of the first victims from a Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine last week arrived back in the Netherlands on Wednesday amid dignified grief tinged with anger. Bells pealed and flags flew at half mast in memory of the 298 people killed when flight MH17 crashed in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists, in the first national day of mourning since wartime Queen Wilhelmina died in 1962. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
  • A convoy of hearses, bearing remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash, are escorted along the A27 highway by military police to Hilversum, where they will be identified by forensic experts, near Nieuwegein July 23, 2014
    A convoy of hearses, bearing remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash, are escorted along the A27 highway by military police to Hilversum, where they will be identified by forensic experts, near Nieuwegein July 23, 2014. The bodies of the first victims from a Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine last week arrived back in the Netherlands on Wednesday amid dignified grief tinged with anger. Bells pealed and flags flew at half mast in memory of the 298 people killed when flight MH17 crashed in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists, in the first national day of mourning since wartime Queen Wilhelmina died in 1962. REUTERS/Marco de Swart
  • A policeman salutes as the convoy of hearses with the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine drives past on its way to a military base in Hilversum July 24, 2014.
    A policeman salutes as the convoy of hearses with the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine drives past on its way to a military base in Hilversum July 24, 2014.
  • Dutch Ronald Visee holds a Netherlands flag flying at half-mast (R) as a hearse carrying the remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plane disaster are escorted on highway A27 near Nieuwegein by military police, on their way to being i
    Dutch Ronald Visee holds a Netherlands flag flying at half-mast (R) as a hearse carrying the remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plane disaster are escorted on highway A27 near Nieuwegein by military police, on their way to being identified by forensic experts in Hilversum, July 24, 2014. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos
  • Dutch ministers Edith Schippers (5th R) and Ronald Plasterk (6th R) attend a national reception ceremony, for the coffins of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, at Eindhoven airport July 24, 2014.
    Dutch ministers Edith Schippers (5th R) and Ronald Plasterk (6th R) attend a national reception ceremony, for the coffins of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, at Eindhoven airport July 24, 2014. REUTERS/Mischa Rapmund
  • King Willem Alexander (L) and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands (2ndL), Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (C) and officials attend a national reception ceremony at Eindhoven airport July 23, 2014
    King Willem Alexander (L) and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands (2ndL), Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (C) and officials attend a national reception ceremony at Eindhoven airport July 23, 2014 for the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine. Two aircraft carrying the remains of some of the 298 passengers who died on flight MH17 touched down at an airport in the Dutch city of Eindhoven on Wednesday, as next-of-kin and Dutch and foreign officials looked on. The remains of the victims of the downing of the flight over eastern Ukraine, 193 of whom were Dutch, will be brought over the next few days to a military base in Hilversum, the Netherlands. The Netherlands declared Wednesday the country's first day of mourning in more than half a century. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
  • King Willem Alexander (L) and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands (C), Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (R) and officials look at the convoy of hearses with the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17
    King Willem Alexander (L) and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands (C), Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (R) and officials look at the convoy of hearses with the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, as it leaves Eindhoven airport to a military base in Hilversum July 23, 2014. Two aircraft carrying the remains of some of the 298 passengers who died on flight MH17 touched down at an airport in the Dutch city of Eindhoven on Wednesday, as next-of-kin and Dutch and foreign officials looked on. The remains of the victims of the downing of the flight over eastern Ukraine, 193 of whom were Dutch, will be brought over the next few days to a military base in Hilversum, the Netherlands. The Netherlands declared Wednesday the country's first day of mourning in more than half a century. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
  • King Willem Alexander (L) and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands (2ndL), Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (C) and officials look at the convoy of hearses with the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17
    King Willem Alexander (L) and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands (2ndL), Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (C) and officials look at the convoy of hearses with the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, as it leaves Eindhoven airport to a military base in Hilversum July 23, 2014. Two aircraft carrying the remains of some of the 298 passengers who died on flight MH17 touched down at an airport in the Dutch city of Eindhoven on Wednesday, as next-of-kin and Dutch and foreign officials looked on. The remains of the victims of the downing of the flight over eastern Ukraine, 193 of whom were Dutch, will be brought over the next few days to a military base in Hilversum, the Netherlands. The Netherlands declared Wednesday the country's first day of mourning in more than half a century. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
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Queen Maxima of the Netherlands couldn’t contain her tears as the country welcomed the tragic victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash on Wednesday.

The doomed MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17 when it was shot down with a surface-to-air missile. It went down near Hrabove in Ukraine, just a few kilometres from the Ukraine-Russia border.

193 of the passengers and crew members were Dutch. None of them survived.

Wednesday was declared as a national day of mourning for the country as grieving citizens paid respect to the victims at the Eindhoven Airport, where only 40 of the 298 passengers arrived from Ukraine.

Queen Maxima, along with her husband King Willem-Alexander and the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, joined the grieving relatives of the victims.

She was seen weeping throughout the reception ceremony while holding her husband’s hand tightly.

“The grief, powerlessness and despair of those left behind have touched us to the very soul,” the king said.

“But in deepest distress come strength, compassion and inter-connectedness, and those are the qualities that our country always displays at times such as this.”

The bodies, which have not been identified yet, were received with great dignity. They were placed in wooden coffins, which were carried by soldiers to 40 black hearses. The bodies were then taken to the town of Hilversum, where they will be formally identified.

The flags of all 17 nationalities onboard MH17 were standing at half-mast at the airport.

Muffled cries were heard from the people lining up at the side of the roads where the convoy of hearses passed. At the airport, though, the cries were louder.

Barry Sweeney, whose 28-year-old son Liam Sweeney was among the British passengers of the plane, describe Netherland’s ceremony “moving.”

“The Dutch were tremendous in the way they handled everything,” he told the Mirror.

“The Netherlands Air Force were so professional. They brought the victims home with dignity and integrity, not like the rag-tag bunch of pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine.”

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