Speech minister Hennis 50 years NATO Brunssum

Your Majesty,
Excellencies,
Generals, admirals,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
In preparation for today’s event, I came across the words president Harry Truman spoke when the
North Atlantic Treaty was signed in 1949.
He said: “By this treaty, we are not only seeking to establish freedom from aggression and from the
use of force in the North Atlantic community, but we are also actively striving to promote and
preserve peace throughout the world.”

The Netherlands needed no encouragement to sign the Treaty.
Our memories of war were still fresh and the Soviet threat looming.
And when NATO needed a new home for one of its most important military headquarters after the
French withdrawal from the command structure in 1966, we did not hesitate either.
Brunssum warmly welcomed the NATO men, women and their families.
As mayor Winants put it so nicely just now, this town and NATO started building a new home
together.