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Congressman Hoekstra launches 'Dutch-American Day'

Resolution obtains unanimous support

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House has unanimously passed a resolution to establish a "Dutch-American Friendship Day." The resolution was introduced by U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, Michigan. He said such a day would celebrate the historic ties between the United States and the Netherlands. The friendship day commemorates the presentation of the diplomatic credentials of U.S. ambassador John Adams at the States General in The Hague on April 19, 1782.

The high-ranking Dutch-born politician sees Dutch ideals such as individuality, freedom, hard work and human rights flourishing in the United States. Hoekstra hopes that the 'Dutch-America Friendship Day' ”will raise awareness of the special relationship that the countries have shared as allies over the past 225 years."

Hoekstra emigrated with his family to the U.S. from Groningen, the Netherlands, at the age of 3. Last year, he founded the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on the Netherlands with U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md, a ranking official in his party. The caucus is designed for members of Congress to discuss opportunities for the two countries to continue working together for the mutual benefit of both societies.

Hoekstra says he is deeply proud of his heritage and feels that he has a special connection with both countries. The value of the relationship between the U.S. and The Netherlands, and the opportunities to continue learning from each other, should be recognized and appreciated, says Hoekstra. He was formerly a furniture industry executive and succeeded well-known Dutch-American Rep. Guy VanderJagt, a House veteran, following the 1992 election. VanderJagt who pushed the Dutch-American Heritage Day, which is held every November 16, saw its resolution pass in 1991. It was then proclaimed by President George Bush Sr.