I have just returned from a flag raising and ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Holland by Canadians in WWII. A couple of hundred people were in attendance. This day in 1945 marked the beginning of a very special relationship between our two countries that remains strong today.
Each year, in memory of the sacrifice of Canadian soliders and the liberation of Holland, the Dutch Royal Family sends 10,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa each year.
The day’s cerermony brought back two distinct memories for me. The first was visiting Ottawa as a young child with my parents to see the tulips. As a child I was intriqued by so many tulips being sent each year from Holland by the Royal Family. The second was a visit I made to a cemetery in the Netherlands for Canadian WWII soldiers whose lives had been lost during the liberation. The cemetery was so overwhelmingly beautiful, serene and immaculately cared for that it had an immediate emotional impact on me and my travel colleagues.