18th March is Aruba's National Anthem and Flag Day
On 18th March 1948, during a Netherlands-Surinam-Curaçao conference in the Hague, the seeds of independence and a National Day for Aruba were sown by then Aruban leader Shon A. Eman who presented a petition signed by more than 2000 Arubans in favor of independence.
Almost thirty years later during a parliamentary session on 16th March 1976, it was agreed that March 18th would be Aruba's National Day - the day to celebrate Aruba's national anthem and flag and this was celebrated for the first time in 1976.
Exactly 10 years later, in 1986, also on this important date, Aruba celebrated the achievement by Betico Croes of a dream that had been three generations in the making - Status Aparte - an autonomous status within the kingdom of the Netherlands. On this date in 1996, a monument was inaugurated in remembrance of the 2,147 people who, back in 1947 and 1948 had signed a petition in favor of Status Aparte.
Gilberto "Betico" François Croes
Juan E. Yrausquin
Shon A. Eman
Henny Eman Sr.