Honouring Canada’s Sacrifice in the Netherlands

On May 5, the Netherlands and people of Dutch origin will commemorate the valour of Canada and her allies in the liberation of the Netherlands 75 years ago. It was with incredible courage that those brave women and men would willingly go into harm’s way so people such as my mother and father could be free. 

When my father was liberated, he met a Canadian soldier and asked him why Canada would sacrifice so much for his country’s freedom. The soldier replied that he had a job to do. He gave my dad a cigarette, a chocolate and moved on. 

In 1956, due to poor economic opportunities, the only answer for thousands of Dutch families was outmigration. My father then told my mother, if Canada has a military like that, could you imagine what kind of country it is. So, in September of that year, with six children in tow, they sailed to Halifax and then boarded a train to New Westminster, B.C.   

Since the end of the Second World War, Canadians, in a variety of capacities, have been and are still paying the ultimate sacrifice for the protection of Canada and other countries.  

Those who wear the uniform of their municipality, province or country are our true heroes. We should all try to live our lives as worthy of their sacrifices.  

Peter Stoffer
A grateful Dutch immigrant (Sept. 26, 1956, Pier 21) Fall River