Aruba laid a wreath commemorating the National Day of Abolition of Slavery

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At the Oosterpark in Amsterdam, on the first of July took place the national commemoration of the Abolition of Slavery by the Netherlands in 1863, for the colonies of Suriname and Netherlands Antilles. This year marks 159 years. Interim director of the Aruba House in the Netherlands, Glenda Hernandez laid a wreath on behalf of the government and the people of Aruba.

The Dutch minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind; the mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema; and Linda Nooitmeer, president of NiNsee, the institute which organized the commemoration, gave speeches during the event.
This year marks 20 years since the foundation of NiNsee, and since the commemoration started in 2002 with the unveiling of the ‘Slavernijmonument’ (slavery monument), which is a piece by sculptor Erwin de Vries.

A special guest invited to give a speech this year was president of the Central Bank of the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Bank), Klaas Knot. During his speech, Mr. Knot described the role of De Nederlandse Bank in slavery and he expressed his apologies for the role that his organization had in slavery. At the same time, Mr. Knot mentioned that for the next ten years, De Nederlandse Bank will come up with a fund that must finance projects to minimize the effects of slavery on the descendants of slaves. These will be projects on the fields of Education, Health Care and Knowledge. De Nederlands Bank will also invest a complete sum for educational projects, like the National Museum of Slavery, and a knowledge center for this museum.

The musical intermezzo at the commemoration was by Nyassa Alberta, who played the main role in the Tina Turner Musical together with the gospel choir ZO Gospel.

After the speeches, a one minute of silence was held during which the wreaths were laid at the Slavernijmonument. Aside from Ms. Hernandez, other people who laid wreaths were the president of the Eerste Kamer (Dutch Senate), Jan Anthonie Bruijn; and the president of the Tweede Kamer (Dutch Congress), Vera Bergkamp; minister Weerwind; plenipotentiary minister of Curaçao, Carlson Manuel; plenipotentiary minister of Sint Maarten, Rene Violenus; ambassador of Suriname, Rajendre Khargi; and ambassador of Ghana, Mohammed Habib Idris; as well as mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema.

Pictures of Ms. Hernandez by photographer Pacao Núñez.