Dutch soldiers who died in Suriname are getting a monument
General Peter van Uhm, the former commander of the Dutch army, will travel to Suriname this week, to attend the unveiling of a monument that honors Dutch soldiers who died there.
The monument, inscribed with the names of the departed, was produced in the Netherlands and shipped to Suriname, a former colony of the Netherlands on the northeastern shoulder of South America.
It is an initiative of retirees of the Dutch Army’s Tropical Detachment TRIS that was stationed in Suriname from the Second World War until the independence in November 1975. It was paid for partially by the Dutch Ministry of Defense.
General Van Uhm will unveil it together with Suriname’s Defense Minister Lamure Latour. Ernst Noorman, Charge d’affairs at the Dutch embassy in Paramaribo also will be on hand to give a speech;
There were some 15,000 soldiers stationed in Suriname from 1945 to 1975. The 45 who the monument pays homage to, died of several causes; ranging from tropical diseases to traffic accidents and even mishaps with landmines. The remains of some have been shipped back to the Netherlands, but many still lay buried at cemeteries in Suriname.The monument will be erected at the Fort Zeelandia, a historic fort that was built by the settlers in the 17th century and today serves as a museum. The unveiling ceremony will take place on November 27th, just two days after Suriname’s 38th Independence Day today, on which the country unveils a statue that pays tribute to its soldiers who perished during the interior war that raged in the eighties.