Courtesy of: The Morning News
By: Rosalie Klein
Over the years, The Morning News has annually covered the official March 18 celebration and parade as part of their coverage of island events. Always standing out from the crowd was an attractive lady, obviously a tourist, who proudly works Aruba‘s colors, obviously taking great delight in the events and the design of the island’s flag.
We just couldn’t resist, after several years in a row, approaching this lady, Donna Parks, and her companion, Jim Claytor in 2012, when they were again spied avidly following the celebration and parade. It is twelve years now that we have been vacationing for at least a month on Aruba during March,” explained the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania couple.
“Fortunately, we get to enjoy the island traditions surrounding their national day, which we find inspiring. Our leaders could definitely learn something from Aruba. We may have our Independence Day celebrations in our individual towns back home, but still, they never quite match the sincere fervor we see here. There is just something in the air that touches the heart.”
This year again, Donna and Jim were in place early on Monday morning to observe the official event, as island dignitaries gathered before Aruba’s government offices, ending with a parade of island scouts, various sporting clubs, and the police and local armed forces, such as Arubamil, the Aruba Militia.
“It is always interesting and fun,” observed Donna and Jim. “We also love attending Carnival events if they are taking place while we are here. There is so much more to enjoy about Aruba than just the beaches and sea. We always feel so welcomed by Arubans when we come to these events. It is a wonderful opportunity to truly enjoy their sincere hospitality.”