Let history remain history

The first Europeans who came into contact with Te Pito te Henua were three Dutch ships commanded by Jacob Roggeveen on April 5, 1722, the date of Easter. This originated the name with which this unknown island was baptized that had not been recorded on any map of its time. During the landing of the Dutch, the islanders had approached in crowds, curious and unarmed, but surprisingly some were hit by bullets from a shotgun. This violent experience with the first Europeans would be repeated during subsequent visits by European and American fleets.

Anuncio Destacado

Almost three hundred years later, on July 11, 2005, the Governor of Easter Island receives a visit from the Ambassador of the Netherlands (Holland), who thanks him for his attention and sends a letter to each of the authorities of the island where he explains his feeling: “As for the historical events experienced by our peoples, I am pleased to offer my apologies for the damage caused in the past by the death of so many Rapanui (9 to 10) during the first landing of Europeans in Easter Island. I refer to the tragic event that occurred on April 10, 1722, five days after the Arend, Thienhoven and Africaansche Galey ships had anchored on Easter Island. That day the Thienhoven Navigation Officer, Cornelis Mens, suddenly gave the order to fire when Jacob Roggeveen landed and a large number of crew members. That he was scared, as he claimed, may be true, but there was no reason for it, according to the account of Captain Bouman of Thierhoven, who among other things wrote: “… because the inhabitants, at least the majority, had no weapons but they approached us in large numbers with empty hands to welcome us. Cornelis Mens said as an excuse that the inhabitants had wanted to grab his shotgun and that they had threatened to throw stones, which does not have the credibility of Messrs. Roggeveen, Coster (captain of the Arend), Roosendaal (captain of the Africaansche Galey), lieutenants , Ensigns and for me, along with all the officers and numerous sailors. Since we first disembarked and then we walked along with a large number of inhabitants who opened our way in a show of friendship, but the navigation officer did not know that they had done this. However, all the officers believed that he had acted that way because he was a villain… ”

Anuncio Destacado

The violent intervention of Cornelis Mens cannot, in my opinion, be forgotten, since this should not have happened. Many times it is said: “Let history remain history.” However, this is only possible if you have not silenced the injustice and at least show remorse. Cornelis Mens can’t do that anymore, Roggeveen either. Asking for official apologies for damages caused in the past, whether from a country, an institution or an individual, contributes to the “history being history.” However, this is only possible if you have not been silent about the injustice and At least show regrets. Cornelis Mens can’t do that anymore, Roggeveen can’t either, but I can. ”Cornelis Mens’ violent intervention cannot, in my opinion, be forgotten, since this should not have happened. Many times it is said: “Let history remain history.” However, this is only possible if you have not silenced the injustice and at least show remorse. Cornelis Mens can’t do that anymore, Roggeveen either. Asking for official apologies for damages caused in the past, whether from a country, an institution or an individual, contributes to the “history being history.” However, this is only possible if you have not been silent about the injustice and At least show regrets. Cornelis Mens can’t do that anymore, Roggeveen either, but I can. ”

This letter is a great example to follow to ask for forgiveness, allowing history to remain history and not an open sore.

Anuncios Destacados

Featured Reports:

The wreck of “El Dorado”

The wreck of “El Dorado”

The wreck of “El Dorado”On the morning of Wednesday, June 11, 1913, the small American steam schooner “El Dorado” of the Sanders & Drinkwater shipping company had been sailing along the west coast of America for two months, not realizing that the Humboldt current...

Sebastián Englert

Sebastián Englert

ORO MATUASebastián EnglertPriest of Rapa NuiSebastián Englert, a Capuchin priest and researcher of the Rapanui culture, lived on Easter Island from 1935 until 1969, shortly before his death. The fourth of 17 children in the Bavarian Englert family in the village of...

Vaitea A Historical Place

Vaitea A Historical Place

VaiteaVaitea is the name given to the area in the center of the Island where there is abundant water coming from the Rano Aroi volcano. Each trip by road to Anakena Beach crosses through the forests of Vaitea, mostly eucalyptus trees, where Islanders will stop to...