The Dominican Republic became an independent country on February 27, 1844. That alone would be reason enough for this day to hold a special meaning to Dominicans and in fact it does. The day is a major national holiday with widespread business and institutions closing, parades in many towns, and generally a festive and/or relaxing atmosphere. The importance of this day is also manifested with nationwide streets, avenues, and public places named «27 de Febrero». The importance of this date is evident to all, but what may not be known to all is that February 27 isn’t only the day the Dominicans became independent.
On February 27, 1805 (39 years before independence) another ocurrence happened in Santo Domingo that impacted the existence of Dominicans from that date forward. That was the day that Jean Jacques Dessalines during his Santo Domingo Seige halted that event and marched back to Haiti along with the Haitian army. That was the day that Dessalines witnessed the maneuvors of French boats off the coast of Santo Domingo and that caused him to think an error, that the French were headed west to attack the coastal towns of Haiti, at that moment completely unprotected due that the entire Haitian army was encamped around the outsides of Santo Domingo doing the seige and the planned captured of the Dominican capital.
Although the marched back of the Haitian army via the Cibao and the South was marked with atrocities and horrors committed against the ancestors of the Dominicans, civilians including countryside people; the looting and burning of Dominican towns, etc. The plan the Haitian army had of subjecting all the ancestors of Dominicans to a general massacre wasn’t completed precisely because the capitulation of Santo Domingo wasn’t possible. This capitulation wasn’t possible thanks to the French and the maneuvers of French boats off the coast of Santo Domingo on February 27, 1805.
February 27 is not just the day of independence of the Dominican Repúblic and the Dominicans when they reasserted their right to speak Spanish and be free to decide their destiny as a people. It’s also the day Dominicans were given a second chance to exist as a people, as a culture, and as human beings. All Dominicans today must hold February 27 to the highest regard since in more than once that day is one of the main reasons they exist.