Aruba honors Remembrance Day & Liberation Day

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Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking), on May 4, is an annual observance in the Kingdom of the Netherlands that remembers those who died during war and in peace-keeping operations. It is the day before Liberation Day. Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) is celebrated on May 5 and it commemorates the end of the Nazi occupation during the Second World War. Due to the COVID-19 situation events and observations may be canceled or otherwise affected.

The yearly wreath laying and ceremony in commemoration of the Second World War victims will be conducted in an adjusted form. There will be no public present and the program’s location will be A. Lacle Boulevard which will be closed to traffic between 5pm and 6.15pm for this reason. Aruba’s governor will lay a wreath in honor of the event. The Second World War was a global war that lasted from 1939 until 1945. The Netherlands was not fully liberated until August 1945. Soon after the war, it was decided that Liberation Day should be held on 5 May, the date of the German army’s defeat.

This day will also honor the victims of other military conflicts like in Dutch-Indonesia, Lebanon, Bosnia and Afghanistan. Also we will take a moment to think of the current situation where many people lost their loved ones due to the COVID-19 virus. Many of us feel fear or are in mourning. This even affects the commemoration activities for war victims as we need to take precaution measures and therefore ask people to respect the rules. Please do not visit the ceremony in honor of all those who have lost their lives already.

The Aruba people is asked to hang their flag half-mast from 8am to sunset. Let us honor all those who liberated us 75 years ago!

Liberation Soup.
The concept of ‘Liberation Soup’ was developed in Amsterdam in 2012. Many Dutch cities followed and also Aruba initiated this event for the first time in 2019. The organization was done by the governor’s office. This year it was intended to share a Liberation Meal on several locations in Aruba, but the COVID-19 crisis changed these plans. The idea of this concept is to share a soup or meal at Liberation Day (May 5) and talk about the meaning of freedom. The organization of the event decided to be creative and come up with a COVID-19 version. By invitation of the Oranjevereniging Aruba the chefs of the Dutch marines will cook a Liberation Soup. The soup will be distributed to social foundations who in their turn will take care of giving the soup to the people in need. This event is sponsored by the Governor of Aruba and the Dutch Representative in Oranjestad (VNO). The organization stresses it is important in these difficult times to stimulate togetherness and take care of each other. The recipe of the soup is to be found at the Facebook page Oranje Vereniging Aruba. Let us all dine together in social distance but closely by heart.