Memorial Day: A day to appreciate our freedom

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GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – On Thursday May 4, the Government of Sint Maarten will recognize Memorial Day, (“Dodenherdenkingsdag”) similar to the other countries within the Dutch Kingdom.

“During this National Commemoration Day” 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 peach-keeping operations since the outbreak of the Second World War” are commemorated (www.4en5mei.nl).

This year, while there are millions of people in the Middle East that are yet fighting for a free state, Government opted to highlight the freedom element throughout its program.

Most people assume freedom is a natural state, yet it is something that has been fought for through many wars. It is recorded that over 50 million people both military and civilians have lost their lives since World War II in the name of freedom.

Freedom and a peaceful state is therefore something that should be cherished, especially in today’s world where there is much talk of World War III.

To acknowledge the importance of freedom and peace, the Marines, Police and Voluntary Corps of Sint Maarten VKS, will participate in a silent march through Philipsburg at 3:30 p.m.

The procession will move from Clem Labega Square down Back Street towards the alley by Oranje School up Front Street and towards the Captain Hodge Wharf.

There will be a short ceremony that will take place which includes a prayer and an official wreath laying ceremony by the acting Governor Reynold Groeneveldt, President of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams and Prime Minister William Marlin, which will lead to two minutes of silence.

The theme of freedom is further expressed via a tribute poem by Ms. Maugada Jackson, a dance performance by the Dance Theatre Indisu Dancer and songs of freedom by Mr. Shawn Jacquet.

Dignitaries and invited guests will attend. The general public is also invited to be present at this event, which will be held at a more accessible location at the Captain Hodge Wharf, and to show tribute on a day the nation of Sint Maarten shows appreciation of freedom.

The ceremony will commence at 4 p.m.