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"The Dutch are very appreciative. To us, the Canadians are our heroes, and we continue to appreciate what they did to this day. We have a soft spot in our heart for them," said Westenberg.
which was temporarily declared Dutch territory. The Nike Dunk Air
Princess Margriet of the Netherlands was born in an Ottawa Civic Hospital room Foamposite Yeezy Grey On Feet
'Canadians are our heroes'
day of her birth is the only day in history that another flag has flown from the Peace Tower the red, white and blue of the Dutch flag.
fact of which he is very proud.
Dr. Hans Westenberg and his wife Marion hosted a celebration at their home on Highway 2 outside of Kingston Sunday, May 2, in honour of the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands and the birthday of Queen Beatrix, queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Her sister Princess Margriet Francisca of the Netherlands was born January 19, 1943 in Ottawa where the Dutch Royal family had fled after the occupation of Holland by German forces.
Turner says they weren't able to offer much assistance because they had to continue moving forward fighting all the way, it was the troops who came behind that were able to help a very grateful nation.
Veteran Brit Smith served in the 2nd Canadian Division Artillery, 4th Field Regiment. He was seriously wounded in Normandy and went home on a hospital ship. "I did my share of neutralizing the opposition before I left," he said.
Bill Turner served in the artillery during the war, first with the 23rd Field Regiment, 4th Armoured Division, and after reaching the rank of Captain, the 15th Field Artillery Regiment where he worked in Forward Observation. His regiment was one of the first liberating forces who entered Holland, fighting it out with German forces at Antwerp in September of 1944. He recalls the scene as he moved through the area.
"We were extremely lucky because we had been waiting for them for a long time. In 1944 we thought we would be liberated and we were not," he says.
"People were doing OK, it was in the north that they were starving, and we took everything south of the River Maas. There weren't many people on the streets, many stayed Nike Dunk Psychedelic in bed because they didn't have the strength to get up," he recalls.
"I think it was April 4 that they came to our town, and I remember how the Canadian tanks rolled around the corner and went down the street to City Hall. They arrested the German officers and shaved the heads of women who had collaborated with the German. I was right there," he states.
It has been 65 years since the first Canadian tanks rolled through the Netherlands and ended the occupation by German forces but that day is still fresh in the hearts and minds of the Dutch. They have not forgotten.
Westenberg is Honorary Consul for the Netherlands and also serves as a coroner in Kingston. He was born in Almelo, Holland, close to the German border and remembers clearly that day in 1945 when the Canadians came to the rescue.
Wim Geerts, Ambassador, Kingdom of the Netherlands, who attended the celebration with his wife Thea, said that there are approximately one million people of Dutch descent in Canada, a Foamposite Boots Black
His town was one of the lucky few people were not starving there as many were in the northern parts of Holland. He stayed at a neighbouring farm about 20 kilometres away for the last four of five months before the liberation and said life there was pretty comfortable.
"This year celebrates the 65th anniversary of our liberation and to us that means a lot and still does today. Prime Minister Harper will be travelling to the Netherlands next week to take part in the 65th anniversary of the liberation and will be visiting war cemeteries where a lot of Canadian men lie buried. They fought for our freedom and paid the ultimate price, and we want to show them that we will not forget," says Geerts.
Members of his regiment took part in the liberation and Smith said many of them ended up marrying Dutch girls because they were there for quite some time after the war was over.
Geerts' parents were teenagers at the time of the liberation, and they instilled a deep sense of gratitude in him for the brave Canadian men and women in uniform who fought for their freedom and democracy.
He has maintained friendships with many of the liberators, in particular with the late Lord William Shawnessy, a Canadian major who was billeted with a local family after the liberation. He stayed behind for six months and helped bring the Westenberg family to Canada in 1961.
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