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Celebrating the Birth of a Nation

As I mentioned in my last post about Canada Day, on July Fourth the crew of the Rotterdam had a very special celebration for American Independence Day. A few weeks back the American Community (myself included) held a meeting to plan out our special celebration. We outlined a beautiful program for the flag-raising and a fun party to celebrate both Canada Day and Fourth of July together.

Almost as a joke we started talking about sending an e-mail to the American Embassy in Stockholm to see if they’d send someone out to share in our celebration. So I did! Part of me never expected to hear back at all, but I certainly never imagined what happened next.

Within a few days I received a message from Gunnery Sergeant Deon Wren, Commander of the United States Marine Corps Detachment at the American
Embassy in Stockholm. He told me that they would be honored to share this special day with us! What an amazing way to celebrate this important holiday.

We are currently sailing with 29 American crew members. It was a very special celebration for several of our American officers who are naturalized American Citizens, our Captain and Hotel Manager included! The Marines provided a truly moving flag-raising ceremony on the bow accompanied by our HALCats band. The Marines were extremely nice and everybody enjoyed meeting them and talking about their service to the United States.

Then the party began … The American and Canadian communities on board hosted a “backyard barbecue” on the bow of the ship, complete with
novelty aprons on all of the cooks! As a special treat the Americans and Canadians did all the grilling themselves! It felt almost like being at home. The Marines also joined the party and enjoyed the good food and camaraderie of all the nations represented on board Rotterdam!

All in all it was a fitting celebration and one we will remember for a long time to come.

See you out there!

Many of the officers join in honoring the U.S. at the Flag Raising.

Many of the officers join in honoring the U.S. at the Flag Raising.

Captain Krombeen says a few words prior to the ceremony.

Captain Krombeen says a few words prior to the ceremony.

The Marines begin raising the flag.

The Marines begin raising the flag.

The Marines at attention.

The Marines at attention.

 The American crew pose with two United States Marines.

The American crew pose with two United States Marines.

ß

*A**NTHONY** G**AROFALO*

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*Crew Purser | ms Rotterdam*

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