How the Dutch commemorate today, in Canada
On May 5th 1945, the Netherlands was liberated from Nazi occupation. Canada played a vital role in the liberation effort. Over 7,600 Canadian soldiers payed the ultimate price for our Freedom.
Tomorrow, on May 5th, the Netherlands celebrates 75 years of Freedom. However, before we celebrate, we remember all who lost their lives since the outbreak of the Second World War, both in war situations and in peacekeeping missions. This Remembrance Day happens each year on May 4th.
On May 4th at 8 pm Dutch time (CST), a two-minute silence is observed to honour the fallen.
Commemorations in the Netherlands and Canada
Commemorative services are not only held throughout the Netherlands, but also throughout Canada. For two minutes, the Dutch and Dutch-Canadians come to a halt, and people everywhere will remember and reflect upon the significance and meaning of our Freedom.
See below a summary of the commemorative services by our Embassy in Ottawa and Consulates-General in Toronto and Vancouver today on May 4th 2020.
For several years, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ottawa has partnered with Beechwood Cemetery to celebrate its commemorative service at The National Military Cemetery. It is a beautiful and fitting location to hold this service, both with Canadians and Dutch people.
This year again at 2pm (EST), the Commemorative ceremony took place at this central monument, which is dedicated to the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, who have served Canada with honor and distinction. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there was a select group of people on site, including Ambassador Henk van der Zwan and Defense Attaché Ton Linssen.
Usually there is no annual Commemorative ceremony hosted by the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Toronto on May 4th (only in Ottawa). This year was planned differently because of the 75 Years of Freedom Anniversary, and there was a ceremony planned. Though, because of the COVID-19 outbreak and our respect to the province-wide precautionary measures, the special service was held at the Consuls-General Residence.
Consul-General Anne Le Guellec and Deputy Consul-General Jorn Leeksma were both on site to host the Commemorative service and laid a wreath together after the two minutes silence at 2pm (EST).
Neither there is an annual Commemorative ceremony hosted by the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vancouver on May 4th. But just like Toronto, for Vancouver we had planned a special ceremony because of the 75 Years of Freedom Anniversary. Though, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the service was held at the Consuls-General Residence.
Consul-General Henk Snoeken hosted the Commemorative service and laid a wreath after the two minutes silence at 11am (PDT).
Learn more about Remembrance Day
See this Linkedin post which includes a 2' video about the Dutch Remembrance Day, and how we commemorate on May 4th in Canada.