Monday, 5 November 2012

Hope in the Colour of Orange

As many of you know, I am very proud of my Dutch heritage. My Dad is a wonderful example of many of the excellent qualities possessed by the Dutch people; hard-working, determined and proud.

I recently signed a book out from the public library called Hope in the Colour of Orange. If you watch the World cup, you will know that at many of the Dutch sporting events, spectators are dressed in orange after their heritage which is the House of Oranje. The title is also associated with oranges which were given to the Dutch children by the soldiers shortly after Liberation.  This book was written by civilian children and young adults who endured the deprivations of the Second World War. I was very interested in this period of history as this is the time my father was a young man in Holland. It was an interesting collection of short stories written by several people who emigrated to Canada shortly after the War and wanted to share their memories.

Many of their stories parallel what I have heard from my relatives. I was very fortunate to travel to Holland with my father in 2000 and was present for Liberation Day where the Dutch people celebrate and remember their freedom and the role Canada played in the Liberation of their country.

What a moving time to see the aging Canadian veterans being cheered by the Dutch people as they paraded past and towns decorated with hundreds of Canadian flags. The Dutch people were yelling out "Thank you for our Freedom!" It was a moment I will remember forever and made me very proud to be a Dutch/Canadian.  I hope as Remembrance Day approaches, we continue to remember these brave men and women; both soldiers and civilians who sacrificed so much for freedom.