On Tuesday, May 4, the Government of Sint Maarten will recognize National Remembrance Day, (“Dodenherdenkingsdag”) similar to the other countries within the Dutch Kingdom.
During this national day of commemoration, all Dutch victims – civilians and soldiers – who have been killed or murdered in the Kingdom of the Netherlands or anywhere else in the world in war situations or during peace-keeping operations since the outbreak of the Second World War are commemorated.
The regular commemoration ceremony that will commence at 5:30 p.m. includes an invocation by Arch Deacon Father Rawlins, an official wreath laying ceremony by the Governor, His Excellency drs. Eugene Holiday, the President of Parliament Rolando Brison and the Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, which is
followed by two minutes of silence after the tolling of the church bells in Philipsburg at around 6.00 p.m.
This year, two honourable guests have been invited, Elsje Bosch and Gerard van Veen, who each personally experienced the effects of World War II.
A segment of their personal life story will be shared by the winners of the 2020 Governor’s Youth Award of Excellence, Sara Bharwani, winner in the category Environmental Protection and Riya Baharani Khemchandani, winner in the category Academics.
All those invited will also receive an opportunity to lay a single flower at the War Memorial Monument, which carries the names of the World War II victims primarily born on Sint Maarten.
The National Youth Chamber Orchestra will provide the musical ensembles during the ceremony. COVID-19 health protocols will be applied which includes social distancing and mask wearing; consequently, only a limited number of dignitaries and special guests have been invited to the commemoration ceremony at the Captain Hodge Wharf in Philipsburg. The event will be rebroadcasted via TV and social media.
Business owners are reminded to fly their flags half-mast and each citizen is encouraged to honor the two minutes of silence after the tolling of the church bells at around 6.00 p.m.
The public is hereby notified that the roads leading and the access streets to the Captain Hodge Warf will be closed off for vehicles in the late afternoon of Tuesday, May 4 in preparation for the commemoration.