Memorial Day was observed on May 4, 2023, to honor the memory of all those who have fallen victim of war. Today marks an important day in not only Dutch history, but also in Saban history as many from the island were lost during World War II.
World War II was a destructive war starting in 1939 and lasting six years. It devastated the lives of millions around the world including the far reaches of Saba and other Antilles Islands. The Netherlands maintained neutrality during the war, but to no avail, Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940 with the bombing of Rotterdam occurring just days after the invasion.
The war resulted in the unfortunate deaths of twelve individuals from Saba, among them were eleven seafarers and one nurse. The names of all 130 Antillean casualties have been remembered on the World War II monument located in The Bottom.
Community members, along with Island Governor Jonathan Johnson as well as the Island and Executive Councils gathered at the World War II monument. As the flags flew half-mast in the background alongside the monument, Island Governor Johnson delivered a speech commemorating the fallen. At exactly 2:00 pm the crowd observed a two-minute silence, corresponding to the moment of silence in the Netherlands.
Following the silence, Island Governor Johnson alongside Commissioner Heyliger, Island Council Member Wilson, and kids from Sacred Heart School, the Saba Comprehensive School, and the Saba Girls and Boys After School Care laid picturesque wreaths and flowers on the monument symbolizing the beauty and bravery of the lives lost. The Island Governor closed the ceremony by thanking all who came.