Sint Maarten Library acknowledges Memorial and Liberation Day to Pass on Freedom

Memorial Day on May 4th, and Liberation Day on May 5th are national days to recognize the importance of peace. Today it is 77 years ago that World War II ended in the Netherlands.

More than ever, it is essential to know what a world of war means and how destructive it can be. Daily, social media confront us with the cruel images of the invasion of Russia into Ukraine. Innocent children, women, and men are slaughtered in their houses, on the road, and even when they try to escape the war. Millions are trying to find a safe place in neighboring countries.

In preparation for Memorial and Liberation Day, the Sint Maarten Library distributed 500 copies of the ‘Caribbean Think Book’ to most primary school students of the 7th grade. The book, published by the National Committee May 4 and 5,  commemorates what happened during World War II in Europe and the rest of the world. The text is full of facts, personal stories, and background information. The book is written interactively and consists of cartoons, pictures, games, and checklists. The book also explains the role of the Caribbean by raising money, sending clothes, delivering fuel, and even participating in the war on the front lines or in the resistance. A teacher manual is added to the book to encourage and assist the teachers.

From a different perspective, the experiences of Sint Maarten Mr. Lionel Romney, during World War II are also described in the book with the title ‘An Afro-Caribbean in the Nazi-era – from Papiamentu to German’ by Mary L. Romney Schaab. By chance, this Afro-Caribbean sailer got trapped in the war and even ended in the concentration camp Mauthausen. The story illustrates that a war might be far away, but you can get involved in it all of a sudden against your will.

The ‘Think Book’ ends with ‘ Pass on Freedom’. Let us remember the millions of people who died, were murdered, executed, gassed, or gave their lives in the battlefields. Let us be vigilant that something like this will never happen again. Maybe on May 9th, which is erroneously Russia’s Victory Day of World War II, they will declare their withdrawal from the Ukraine and pass on freedom.