Six Canadian veterans from World War Two planted a maple tree in the Frisian village of Aldtsjerk on Monday.
The veterans, several of whom served in the Royal Canadian Dragoons, are all in their 90s. Omrop Fryslân reports that their visit to the Netherlands was organised by the Canadian Liberators foundation in connection with Remembrance Day on 4 May and Liberation Day on 5 May.
The Canadians have a full programme in the north this coming week. On Monday, the veterans visited the Canadian war cemetery in Holten and Camp Westerbork. On Friday, Keep Them Rolling, a parade of military vehicles, will be held in northern Friesland. On 5 May, the veterans will participate in the national kick-off of the Liberation Day Festivals along with prime minister Mark Rutte.
Eighteen veterans came to Friesland on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands three years ago. The visits are more poignant with each passing year due to the veterans’ advanced age.
The maple leaf is the symbol of Canada and features on the Canadian flag. The tree was planted near a 350-year-old royal lime tree, one of the oldest in Friesland.
Photo source: Omrop Fryslân