“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Arlington in Arlington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Symbol of Friendship

Symbol of Friendship Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, January 19, 2008
1. Symbol of Friendship Marker
Inscription.  Dedicated on May 5, 1960, the 15th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Carillon was presented "From The People Of The Netherlands To The People Of The United States" in gratitude for assistance given during and after WWII.


WWII tied the United States and the Netherlands together as allies for the first time in history. During WWI, the Netherlands remained neutral. However, peaceful co-existence was shattered when Germany invaded The Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Later, when the United States was drawn into WWII with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, The Netherlands declared war on Japan.

The United States joined the Allied Campaign to free Nazi-occupied countries in western Europe. Although The Netherlands was occupied, the underground efforts of the Dutch resistance made this task less difficult. The Dutch transmitted intelligence to the Allies and provided escape routes for Allied plane crews to Great Britain and Switzerland. In addition, although 100,000 Dutch Jews were murdered in German concentration camps, thousands were saved through these same escape routes.

Netherlands Carillon image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, January 19, 2008
2. Netherlands Carillon
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first American units crossed The Netherland with the Allied forces in September, 1944, freeing the southern part of The Netherlands. However, the heavily populated western territories remained occupied. These areas suffered tremendously; more than 15,000 died of starvation during the winter of 1944/45. Help finally came in the form of food dropped by American and British bombers, made possible through secret negotiations with the Germans. Thousands were saved.

Continued military pressure forced Germany to surrender The Netherlands on May 5, 1945. Although liberation ended this human tragedy, the price was high. Approximately 240,000 Dutch civilians died during WWII, and thousands of U. S. soldiers remained behind. Today, many rest in Margraten, the U. S. Military Cemetery in the south of The Netherlands.

Following WWII, the idea for presenting a symbolic gift to The United States met with generous response from all sections of The Netherlands. The original 49 carillon bells were inscribed with symbols representing the different facets of Dutch society.

The Carillon Today

Today, the Carillon has 50 bells. The 50th bell was presented to President Clinton by Netherlands Prime Minister Wim Kok on February 28, 1995. The bell symbolizes 50 years of friendship. Its inscription:

1945 - 1995
Freedom - Friendship
Netherlands Carillon image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, January 19, 2008
3. Netherlands Carillon
The inscription at the base of the carillon reads, "From the people of the Netherlands to the people of the United States."
Netherlands - The United States

Restoring The Carillon

The restoration of the Carillon and the addition of the 50th bell were made possible by a generous contribution from The Netherlands government and corporate sponsors. The restoration work included recasting and re-tuning all 49 original bells, replacing the bell-playing mechanism, repainting the tower structure, and replacing the deteriorated steel plates.




Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicChurches & ReligionPeaceWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #42 William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1763.
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 38° 53.3′ N, 77° 4.152′ W. Marker was in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker was at the intersection of Marshall Drive and
Symbol of Friendship Tower image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, April 2011
4. Symbol of Friendship Tower
Spring time with beautiful tulips.
Richmond Highway on Marshall Drive. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Fort Myer VA 22211, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Modern Liberation (here, next to this marker); Harmony of Friendship (here, next to this marker); "Lest We Forget - We Stand on Your Shoulders" (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Place Where Memories Are Made (about 700 feet away); 70,000 Marines Helped Raise That Flag on Iwo Jima (about 700 feet away); Missions Critical (about 700 feet away); A Split Second Made Immortal (about 800 feet away); Battle Honors Unending (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington.
Regarding Symbol of Friendship. This marker was replaced by a new one named Harmony of Friendship (see nearby markers).
Also see . . .  Details of the carillon. (Submitted on September 6, 2020, by Carl Scott Zimmerman of Kirkwood, Missouri.)
Additional keywords. genocide
Symbol of Friendship Mascots image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, April 2011
5. Symbol of Friendship Mascots
Spring time with tulips.
Symbol of Friendship Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, January 19, 2008
6. Symbol of Friendship Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on September 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 22, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,719 times since then and 8 times this year. Last updated on February 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 22, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   4, 5. submitted on July 22, 2012, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California.   6. submitted on July 27, 2012, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 22, 2021