Canadian veterans feted by the Dutch
Canadian veterans took part in a parade in the Netherlands on Sunday honouring them for helping to liberate the Dutch from Nazi oppressors during the Second World War.
The Sunday event in Apeldoorn capped a week of ceremonies held in the Netherlands to mark the 65th anniversary of Victory in Europe day. Apeldoorn is about 96 kilometres southeast of Amsterdam.
"I was 20 years old when I was here, and this is unbelievable," said Canadian veteran Roly Armitage. "Then again, there are as many people now as there were then in '45."
For two hours, he and other Canadian soldiers were mobbed by thousands of Dutch who showed up to fete them, the CBC's David Common reported. They were handed flowers and even given handwritten notes from people in the crowd.
"It's marvellous," said Canadian veteran Norm Keith. "I've never seen a crowd like this."
The parade, which has been held every five years since 1985, was likely the last one because many of the participating veterans have become too old to take part.
"I'm only 84," said Lawrence Kerkewski. "Yet I'm one of the younger ones."
But the Dutch will continue to show their gratitude with a Liberation festival, which made its debut this year.
With files from The Canadian Press