The Liberation of the Netherlands is special for me.
Why you ask?
It’s because the Netherlands represents my family, my history and my freedom.
My grandparents were both less than ten years old when Nazi forces invaded the Netherlands.
They have told me many stories from the war. Fascinating and horrifying stories.
The most fascinating of all the stories came about because my great-grandparents were involved in the Underground Movement.
They risked everything (even the lives of their own children) to help their fellow countrymen, those whom the occupying government had deemed to be unclean and unworthy of participating in society.
After nearly five years of living in fear, distrust and constant threat of death, Canadian troops secured the liberation of the Netherlands and freedom for my grandparents.
This freedom did not come without a price though. More than 7,600 Canadians died in the eight-month campaign to free the Netherlands.
Every May 5th, the Dutch show their gratitude to Canadians through extravagant parades and fanfare.
My grandparents were fortunate enough to attend one of these celebrations in 1995.
Once the locals found out that my grandparents were Canadian citizens, they immediately insisted that my grandparents be provided with front row seats to enjoy the celebrations.
These celebrations, stories and bonds must never be forgotten.
The lessons learned from previous wars must never be ignored.
The injustices that governments have inflicted on its citizens must be remembered and never repeated.
This Remembrance Day, I thank the brave men and women who sacrificed everything so that my grandparents could be free.
I also thank those who fought for freedom post-World War II and still fight to this day.
This Remembrance Day, I urge you to show your respect for the sacrifices that millions have made before you in order to secure your freedom.
I urge you to remember that freedom is not free and must be fought for on a continuous basis.
“Canada is free and freedom is its nationality.” ~ Wilfrid Laurier
“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think is right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”
~ John Diefenbaker
Libertarian Party of Canada