“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.

The 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
Netherlands Carillon image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, January 19, 2008
2. Netherlands Carillon
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
The Netherlands - The United States

Restoring The Carillon

The restoration of the Carillon and the addition of the 50th bell were made possible
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"
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.




Location. 38° 53.3′ N, 77° 4.152′ W. Marker is in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker is at the intersection of Marshall Drive and Jefferson Davis Highway on Marshall Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Myer VA 22211, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Let Freedom Ring (here, next to this marker); "Lest We Forget - We Stand on Your Shoulders" (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Flag Raisings (approx. 0.2 miles away); United States Marine Corps War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Making A Memorial
Symbol of Friendship Tower image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, April 2011
4. Symbol of Friendship Tower
Spring time with beautiful tulips.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); History Of The U. S. Marine Corps (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Battle For Iwo Jima (approx. 0.2 miles away); Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Myer (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington.
Categories. Notable BuildingsWar, World II
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 March 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 22, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,622 times since then. 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.
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