Lots of cultural and sport activities were planned for the day commemorating the birth date of Betico Croes, in Santa Cruz, on January 25th 1938.
Considered the father of our nation, the engineer of Status Aparte, we get a day off on his birthday to reflect on his many political and cultural contributions.
My friends, members of the Aqua Talk & Walk team, headquartered at Aqua Windie’s, remind each other, each time, that while Betico is credited with our special status within the Dutch Kingdom, there were TWO THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY SEVEN, 2,174 equally important, downplayed locals, who between 1947 and 1948 signed the petition demanding the special status from the Dutch Kingdom, without internet and smartphones, walking door to door, riding donkey carts for longer distances, networking, creating a grass root movement for change, and reaping the reward, namely Aruba’s autonomy including a flag, a currency, an anthem, and a coat of arms.
On March 18th, our national day, a monument with their names was inaugurated. That was in 1996. The marble slab with 2,147 names etched into the stone, was graced by an eternal flame during the reign of the previous government.
My friends, whose grandparents’ names are etched into the face of the stone, lament the flame is snuffed. Saving gas expenses? Maintenance issues? Environmental concerns? Public safety regulations? Wassup??
Why isn’t the flame on?
On the other hand, I get the ‘no flame’ policy. That particular symbol belongs to the fallen, unknow soldiers, cemeteries, perhaps it is too bombastic and over-the-top for that national monument.
So, it needs to be replaced.
Asking for suggestions.
This column will be reprinted on March 18th,