Today, along with the fleet, Rotterdam held a remembrance/veterans day service on the aft deck. November 11th may have been a Port Day in Morocco, but shortly after 10:00 a.m. (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month) a number of guests took time away from their day to remember those who sacrificed for their countries in the name of freedom and for many who made the ultimate sacrifice. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ted Arnold, Rotterdam’s SEH Officer, wore his Army uniform and solemnly marched into the remembrance service with a wreath, where Captain Robert-Jan Kan posted it and saluted as the guests looked on in silence. Brief comments were made by the Captain and Lt. Col. Arnold and even a few guests gave their thanks to the members of the armed services in their respective countries. Just before a closing prayer by Fr. Cerezo, one Canadian guest stepped to the podium and read the poignant poem “In Flanders Field” written in May of 1915 by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. A little later, all souls aboard were asked to observe a moment of silence when Captain Kan sounded the ship’s whistle at 11:00 a.m. and made a ship-wide Veteran’s Day announcement.
Thom Faulkner is Rotterdam’s cruise director.