St. Maarten joins communities in Holland and elsewhere in the kingdom, in expressing solidarity with families and friends of victims claimed on Queen’s birthday, during festivities staged in the Dutch city of Appledoorn. This after a speeding car had raced toward an open bus carrying the Dutch royal family during a parade on Thursday, killing four people and injuring 13 others in an apparently deliberate act.
St. Maarten’s governor Franklyn Richards says that for those viewing live TV reports of the incident, the tragic incident had created an atmosphere which was in contrast to carnival and the festive atmosphere enjoyed at Governor’s Mansion, on occasion of the presentation of royal decorations, one day earlier.
As a sign of solidarity with the victims of the incident, Richards says that the thoughts and prayers of the people of St. Maarten should remain with the relatives of the victims and with members of the Dutch Royal family, who are viewed with fond appreciated throughout the Netherlands Antilles.
Upon recommendation of His Excellency the governor of the Netherlands Antilles, Frits Goedgedrag, flags flying at government buildings in St. Maarten, were lowered to half-mast.
On St. Maarten, no official program had been slated to mark Queen’s birthday – making it unnecessary to consider a suspension or cancellation of such festivities.