As customary on May 4th, we commemorate Memorial Day. This year, government officials, police officers, civil servants, students, and teachers of the Sacred Heart and Comprehensive school, gathered at the monument in The Bottom. The monument commemorates victims of WWII throughout the Dutch Caribbean, including 11 Sabans.
The Island Governor governor started the ceremony by welcoming everybody present. He then went on to say that this year is the 76th time that we have observed this day on the islands. He closed by saying we have the freedoms that we enjoy now because of the sacrifices made during World War 2.
Following the island governor’s address, a Comprehensive school student presented a poem followed by the laying of wreaths by members of the Island and Executive Councils and students from SCS and SHS.
Everybody in attendance observed a moment of silence at 2 pm, (which coincides with the commemorations in The Netherlands) while the church bells rang.
Eight Sabans working on three transport tankers, the Padernales, Oranjestadand Tia Juana, perished after their ships were torpedoed and sunk by German submarines in Aruba waters. The Sabans who died on those three ships were: James Stewart Cornet, John William Dunlock, Anthony Dudley Granger, Eric Norbert Linzey, Darcey Kenneth Lynch, Clifford Achilles Wilson, John Wilson, and Walter Allen Winfield.
Three Sabans, James Andrew Maxwell, Antonio Duran Woods, and Henry Swinton Woods, died on the British oil tanker Punta Gorda when the vessel collided with a larger tanker in the Gulf of Venezuela on September 18th, 1944.