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Queen Beatrix joined Canadians at Groesbeek commemoration

Eighty five schools represented at the ceremony


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

GROESBEEK About two thousand Canadians, officials, teachers and many students representing 85 different high schools, attended the official 65th anniversary commemoration service at the Canadian military cemetery in Groesbeek, earlier this week. The cemetery, located east of Nijmegen, is the resting place of more than 2300 Canadian soldiers who died in World War Two.

The majority of the Canadians buried at Groesbeek died in February and March 1945 during Operation Veritable, part of an allied pincer movement in Germany aimed at capturing the area between the Ruhr and Rhine rivers. The commemoration ceremony attracts large numbers of Canadians to the Netherlands each year.

The other Canadian War Cemetery is located more to the north in the Netherlands in Holten, where those who died liberating the Netherlands in March and April 1945 are buried.

The Canadian Minister of Veterans' Affairs, Jean-Pierre Blackburn was in attendance, as was Ottawa-born Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven. The princess was born in 1943 while the Dutch royal family, consisting of Princess Juliana and her children Beatric and Irene, was living in exile, away from the bombings of London, where Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Bernhard, Princess Juliana's husband, were living.