On November 18th, 2015, The Netherlands American Chamber of Commerce - Texas Chapter celebrated the Dutch American Heritage Day in the beautiful Museum of Fine Arts. Surrounded by paintings by 17th century Dutch painter Joachim Wtewael and enlightened by the beautiful music performed by musicians from the Mercury Symphony Orchestra, the Dutch and their American and international friends celebrated the longstanding friendship between The USA and the Netherlands.
President of the NACCTX, Mrs. Nadia Sant, welcomed the distinguished consular representatives, other chambers of commerce and friends of the NACCTX, noting that the NACCTX is on a mission of growth! Then, Mr Jos Wellink, Honorary Consul of the Netherlands, addressed the audience and talked about the historic events that lead to this special day, after a moment of silence commemorating the awful attacks in Paris on November 13th.
Finally, Mrs. Helga Aurisch, curator of European Art, introduced the exhibition "Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael (1566-1638)" and kindly invited interested people to join a private docent-led tour. It was a great event full of laughter, networking and friendship.
As an illustration of the great atmosphere of the evening, the last guests were kindly asked to leave at 9 pm and turn out the lights!
On November 16, 1776, a small American warship, the ANDREW DORIA, sailed into the harbor of the tiny Dutch island of St. Eustatius in the West Indies. Only 4 months before, the United States had declared its independence from Great Britain. The American crew was delighted when the governor of the island, Johannes de Graaf, ordered that his fort's cannons be fired in a friendly salute. The first ever given by a foreign power to the flag of the United States, it was a risky and courageous act. Indeed, angered by Dutch trading and contraband with the rebellious colonies, the British seized the island a few years later. De Graaf's welcoming salute was also a sign of respect, and today it continues to symbolize the deep ties of friendship that exist between the United States and the Netherlands.
After more than 200 years, the relationship between the United States and the Netherlands remains strong. Our diplomatic ties, in fact, constitute one of the longest unbroken diplomatic relationships with any foreign country.