Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

May 04, 2010 10:00 ET

The Government of Canada Participates in the Commemorative Ceremony at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery

HOLTEN, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - May 4, 2010) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), along with a Government of Canada delegation including Veterans, youth and a Canadian Forces contingent, and in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet, participated in a commemorative ceremony today at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery. The ceremony paid respects to the Canadian soldiers who gave their lives bringing freedom to the Netherlands. Located near Arnhem and the infamous "Bridge Too Far," Holten is the resting place of 1,355 Canadians who died in the closing stages of the campaign in northeast Europe.

"Today, on this Day of Remembrance in the Netherlands, our thoughts are with both the Dutch and Canadian citizens who bore the brunt of sacrifice," said Minister Blackburn. "The presence of youth here today helps ensure that the story of these ordinary Canadians who did extraordinary things in the name of freedom is not forgotten. The Canadian delegation was deeply moved by the gratitude the Dutch have shown towards Canada."

During the ceremony, Dutch school children read a poem of remembrance commemorating the soldiers who fought to liberate their country. Canadian youth presented the moving stories of fallen soldiers who were laid to rest in Holten Canadian War Cemetery.

The ceremony is an annual tradition organized and managed by the Welcome Again Veterans' Foundation. This year, the event was organized in cooperation with Veterans Affairs Canada. Holten also pays tribute to fallen soldiers by having a yearly vigil on Christmas Eve, during which children place lighted candles on every grave. The candles burn throughout the night, while citizens and visitors stop by to pay their individual respects.

For more information on the Liberation of the Netherlands, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at Share your thoughts on the 65th anniversary on the Facebook "Canada Remembers" fan page at

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor