On Memorial Day morning in 2002 four US armed forces veterans, their friends and families gathered on Eagle Beach at Costa Linda. The purpose of the gathering was to honor all those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. The simple ceremony has since become an annual event and has welcomed veterans from all nations to take part.
The organization is pleased to say that since that first ceremony participation has indeed increased significantly. From the beginning they have attempted to keep the ceremony simple, solemn, and apolitical. “We’ve kept it solemn for obvious reasons, simple because of the ages of some of our vets who might find it difficult to stand in the sun too long, and apolitical because we were/are all visitors in Aruba and understood that the raising of the American flag or the singing or playing of the Stars Spangled banner might offend some island residents.” They also soon realized that the event had attracted veterans from other nations – Holland, Aruba, and South Africa to mention a few. So in fairness to all, they thought that large national banners and anthems would be inappropriate. “However, we encourage participants to wear any uniforms or national symbols they wish to wear.”
The poem We Stand by the Sea (anonymous) was read as a memorial wreath of flowers was placed in the surf. There was a reading of a verse from The Fallen by R.L. Binyon followed by the playing of Taps and the presentation of arms by the Detail. The organization is grateful to all that were present and the Costa Linda Beach Resort for their continuous support. Q