Nova Scotia

Dutch-Canadians honour liberators with memorial

A memorial dedicated to the Canadians who died liberating the Netherlands six decades ago now stands outside Pier 21 in Halifax.

A memorial dedicated to the Canadians who died liberating the Netherlands six decades ago now stands outside Pier 21 in Halifax.

Howard Parker, who served with the medical corps, was one of more than 300 people who attended the unveiling ceremony on Sunday.

"I was treated very well in Holland. They understood what we were trying to do and they were very grateful. Many of them told me that they live with eternal gratitude for what the Canadians did in terms of the liberation," Parker said.

The Allies liberated the Netherlands on May 5, 1945, two days before a German surrender brought the Second World War to a close in Europe.

Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer, whose family immigrated from the Netherlands after the war, said he came up with the idea of the memorial to honour the 5,700 Canadians who died during the liberation.

"My father told me many things that happened to him during the war and it's a story that needs to be kept being told so that other countries don't have to go through what happened," Stoffer said.

The granite memorial features the story of the fallen Canadian soldiers written in English, French, Dutch and Mi'kmaq.

For his part, Parker said it feels good to have the contributions of his fellow soldiers recognized.

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