Dutch people will always be thankful to Canadian veterans

Every year on Remembrance Day the bond between The Netherlands and Canada comes to the forefront. I am sure this will never change. I am a Dutchman myself and I can honestly say that we will always remain thankful to the Canadian veterans for their role in liberating Holland from the Nazis. This important part of our history is passed on from generation to generation. In yesterday's Examiner the following article appeared about a letter from Holland sent to a veteran.

From Holland, with love



The envelope came all the way from the Netherlands, and was meant for a Canadian veteran of the Second World War, one who took part in the liberation of Holland. This one ended up with Peterborough veteran Cleve Gallagher.  "It's a nice gesture," he said as he opened it at the Royal Canadian Legion hall on Lansdowne St. Thursday. Inside was a hand-decorated card with a big "thank you" message. "The bond with Holland will always be there," Gallagher said after reading the note on the card.

He served in Holland with the New Brunswick-based North Shore Regiment, part of a stretcher crew that helped move the injured during the Second World War. "I've been back twice since," he said. "I remember there was a little girl, and during the war I would bring her bread. Well, 50 years later, I tracked her down." He stays in touch with a few Dutch families and has since the war, he said.

Gallagher was at the legion's Branch 52 hall after taking part, with other veterans, legionnaires and guests, in the Remembrance Day ceremony at Confederation Square. He and other veterans of the Holland liberation were given the cards by David Edgerton, who had received them from their Dutch senders. He was also handing out special poppy-decorated Canadian quarters, updated versions of the coins that circulated in 2004 and 2008. The new version, issued this week by the Royal Canadian Mint, has coloured engravings of two small poppies and an image of a soldier. "These come from Pat Moore at the Bank of Nova Scotia," Edgerton said. "I'm making sure every veteran gets one."

Edgerton, the originator of the Wall of Honour concept, said the service, the first since the wall was built, was very moving. "I was quite pleased that the focus was not on the wall, but on the veterans who gave their lives," he said.

Tracey Clark of Peterborough took some time before the Remembrance Day ceremony to look at the Wall of Honour, which carries the names of local veterans who served and survived the world wars and the Korean War. "It really adds to the park," she said. "It's different and unique, but also very dignified. It suits the overall tone."

Spectator Donald Tomasi said people often take soldiers and war for granted. "It's unfortunate that we only do this once a year," he said. "There are a lot of people out there fighting right now and we only hear about it when they die. We should be showing our thanks all the time."

NOTE: Jack Gifford from Peterborough Chrysler pur-chased the meal for all the veterans at the Legion on Remembrance Day.



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