DH | Request to US for joint First Salute celebration

Ronald van Raak (SP) en Andre Bosman (VVD) | Suzanne Koelenga

THE HAGUE–The Dutch government will be asked to make a formal proposal to the United States (US) government to have a joint celebration in St. Eustatius in 2026 to commemorate 250 years of the First Salute.

The Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament decided during a procedural meeting on Wednesday to request that the Dutch government contact Washington with a proposal for a joint celebration.

The initiative for a joint celebration with the Americans in St. Eustatius comes from Members of Parliament (MPs) Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) and André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party. The MPs submitted a motion to this effect during the handling of the 2019 budget for Kingdom Relations in October. That motion received majority support.

Van Raak reminded his colleagues during Wednesday’s meeting of the motion to ask the Dutch government to contact the US government. He said there had already been positive feedback from the US to organise this joint celebration in honour of the First Salute. “This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate this historic anniversary together,” said Van Raak.

The First Salute took place on November 16, 1776. On that day, Captain Isaiah Robinson of the American brig Andrew Doria sailed into the Statia harbour. Captain Robinson announced his arrival by firing a 13-gun salute, one gun for each of the 13 American colonies in rebellion against Britain.

Governor Johannes de Graaff replied with an 11-gun salute from the cannons of Fort Oranje, signalling the first international acknowledgment of American independence.

The First Salute has been commemorated in St. Eustatius ever since on November 16, which is also the island’s national day. US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to St. Eustatius in 1939 to recognise the importance of the 1776 First Salute. He presented a large brass plaque displayed at Fort Oranje.

Bron: Daily Herald

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