July 30, 2006


Angela Harenza, Arlington, Texas
Written in January 2006

Sometimes we just need to stand up for one of our own. Natalee Holloway disappeared on the island of Aruba and is feared murdered. Her mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, and father, Dave Holloway, have spent endless months and tears trying to find their daughter and maybe even find justice for her.

Yes, many locals on the island of Aruba were supportive with search efforts, kindness, food and even lodging. But not one person there stood up to their own government with the Holloways and simply asked, much less insisted, that the prosecutor’s office or law enforcement give them insight into the investigation or at least take proactive steps to bring even a semblance of justice to their wonderful daughter’s sad plight.

Every word from Aruba is, and has been, in support of the country’s system and attempts to educate us to its ways. Always, Arubans’ first priority has seemed to be merely about their concern for tourism. Arubans have defended their government entirely.

Beth and Dave aren’t merely working with the antics of a, perhaps, inexperienced police representative or investigator. Beth is a distraught American mother, Dave a devastated father, standing in their private grief while facing down a nation.

I have enjoyed cruising and traveling as much as anyone. But there comes a time when we need to stand up for a member of the team. This, I believe, is one of those times. A grassroots effort to boycott the island was launched after all other attempts to find justice or even truth had failed. The family (and we supporters) are asking all Americans to show Aruba, and by extension the world, that we are what they refuse to be. We really are a nation governed by the people, for the people.

Aruban officials have all but jeered at the limited scope the boycott has acquired thus far based on the mere few state representatives who have voiced their support. Americans are so much more; we have individual rights, and we definitely know how to stand up and claim them.

I am a veteran, having served in our U.S. Air Force on three different continents. Not once on those foreign shores, or while stationed here at home, did we have the attitude that we would only don our uniforms or perform our duties if we felt personally violated or at risk. This horrible situation in Aruba might not be war in the traditional sense, but I am certain Beth and Dave feel they have been standing there in the trenches of lies and slander, fighting an unseen battle — against a bureaucratic enemy — for almost eight months now. (Now going on 14 months now...)

Natalee is an American citizen, and she absolutely deserves us, her fellow U.S. citizens, standing strongly behind her parents on her now silenced behalf. This is not a case of Dutch legalities, Aruban law enforcement interpretations or even our contrasting judicial system from right here at home. Aruba has made this a case of a higher forum: the court of basic human decency.

At this point, it is no longer about our individual sense of fun on foreign shores or our individual rights to travel unrestricted. It is simply about being there for someone who needs us. It is about standing up and being on the team.


Anonymous said...

If Joran had decided he hate all the Americans and will never set foot on the US soil, he can completely ignore the civil lawsuit. The Netherlands can continue to provide him ample of protection. Next June, Judge Rik Smid can release him from the suspect list by the Aruban time limit law.

dennisintn said...

and then he'll belong to the f.b.i.
they can start their own investigation without being stymied at every turn by the aruban govt. let's see how that works out. with the boycott growing strong each month and more and more people realizing that the aruban authorities have been and are continuing to lie and protect him from justice and to keep natalee's remains from being found, i think the f.b.i. won't have any problems at all finding support in their investigation.