On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I wish the people of the Netherlands a Happy Queen’s Day. This is an opportunity to celebrate culture and history throughout the Netherlands, Aruba, and the Dutch Antilles. Streets from Rotterdam to Oranjestad and Willemstad will be filled with people dressed in orange enjoying the vrijmarkt, or freemarkets. We join our Dutch friends in honoring Queen Juliana and Queen Beatrix, and celebrating our strong partnership.
The shared history of our two nations stretches back to the Dutch explorers and pioneers, such as Henry Hudson, who made their way to the New World and helped establish what would become the United States. Distinguished Dutch Americans – from Walt Whitman to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt – have made invaluable contributions to the cultural, economic, and political landscape of the United States, as have the more than four million people of Dutch descent in the United States today.
This year, we commemorate all we accomplished together 65 years ago, defeating fascism in Europe to end World War II, and honor those who lost their lives in defense of freedom. Today the Netherlands is one of our most valued partners and trusted friends, and we look forward to a shared future marked by economic prosperity, mutual understanding, and the pursuit of our common goals.
I wish all the people of the Netherlands, Aruba, and the Dutch Antilles, and people of Dutch descent everywhere, a safe and enjoyable Queen’s Day. We honor your history, value your friendship, and look forward to strengthening our partnership.