Canadian forces were recognized for their role in the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation 70 years ago in a ceremony that drew more than 200 spectators and dozens of uniformed service members and dignitaries to Campbell River’s Spirit Square.
The flag of the Kingdom of the Netherlands flew alongside the Canadian Maple Leaf as a parade of speakers extolled the courage and sacrifice of the troops who swept through the Dutch countryside in the final year of World War II in 1944-45.
Four of those veterans — Carl Kolonsky, Ted Lavender, Bob Lewis and Ted Turner — occupied seats of honour in the front row of the one-hour service at the cenotaph.
Attending with them were many family members, from children and grandchildren to great-grandchildren.
Following the singing of O Canada, organizer Pieter Koeleman led the crowd in the Dutch national anthem, Wilhelmus van Nassouwe. Speakers included Paul van Rhijn, consul of The Netherlands in Vancouver, North Island MLA Claire Trevena and Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams, along with representatives of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 137, the Salvation Army and the Dutch community in Campbell River.
In addition to members of Canadian Forces from the Comox base, the event was attended by RCMP and the Campbell River Legion Pipes and Drums, as well as several member of Campbell River council.
The commemoration has taken place every five years in Campbell River since 1990.
See more pictures of the event on Page 3.