Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

May 05, 2008 12:28 ET

Government of Canada Thanks Veterans Who Helped Liberate the Netherlands

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 5, 2008) - Canadians, including the Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, gathered in Major's Hill Park today during the Canadian Tulip Festival to pay tribute to
Veterans who helped free the Netherlands from enemy occupation more than 60 years ago. Minister Thompson and His Excellency Karel de Beer, the Netherlands' Ambassador to Canada, delivered remarks.

"The story of Canada's friendship with the Netherlands has become an enduring symbol of the power of freedom," said Minister Thompson. "You cannot put a price on freedom, any more than you can put a price on friendship. That's why we honour and celebrate our Veterans today."

The Veterans were hosted by Canadian Tulip Festival organizers at a luncheon on "Netherlands Day" at the International Pavilion in Major's Hill Park. Transportation for the Veterans and the luncheon were funded through Veterans Affairs Canada's Community Engagement Partnership Fund. The festival organization received $5,000 for the event. The Canadian Tulip Festival was born of a gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs from Princess Juliana of the Netherlands in 1945. The bulbs were given as a token of appreciation for the safe haven provided to the Netherlands' royal family during the War and for the role Canadians played in liberating their country.

Ambassador de Beer also expressed his gratitude to the Veterans. Veterans and guests enjoyed the music of the KLM Harmony Band of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines as well as the talent of local school choirs and bands.

The Community Engagement Partnership Fund provides funding to non-profit groups, education institutions and other organizations delivering remembrance activities and events. Administered through Veterans Affairs Canada's Canada Remembers program, contributions are made throughout the year and encompass both national and community-based projects.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    613-996-4649