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Dutch F-16s to 'cover' Liberation Parade of Lincoln

New Brunswick to celebrate 55th anniversary

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick - The Second World War has cut deep into the province's inhabitants collective psyche, among New Brunswickers as well as the postwar Dutch-Canadian community. The latter again is organizing a grand Canada-Holland Remembers commemoration on May 5-7.

Committee chairman Gerry Blom, who sells Dutch import products on regular routes in three Maritime provinces, rates this year's event more important even than the one in 1995 when numerous veterans returned to a tumulteous welcome in the Netherlands. The surviving veterans are getting on in age and instead like to be part of the remembrance activities at home.

During WWII about 10,000 New Brunswickers enlisted out of a population of 457,400. The number of casualties was high: 1,300 in the Army, 78 in the Navy and 430 in the Air Force. Many others who survived suffered from life-long after-effects.

The Canada-Holland Remembers committee - secretary is well-known town crier Thom Joordens - involves a great number of people. The schedule of events includes a kick-off visit with visiting Dutch choir Le Shaiddai, directed by Gert Jan Hans, to the province's Lt. Governor. On May 4th, a Holland Candle Vigil will be held at the Cenotaph. Students from schools specifically are expected to be present. After the ceremony, the crowd is requested to return in a "silent walk" back to the city hall.

The following evening, there is a reception and an exhibition of wartime photos from the New Brunswick Archives and the Netherlands Embassy along with other memorabilia on display at the St. Francis of Assisi Church in Lincoln.

The climax of the festivities is a huge parade on Saturday, May 6th, with about 1,500 to 2,000 participants, including a substantial presence of the veterans, Armed Forces, cadets and the RCMP. Shortly after the start of the parade, aircraft of the Royal Dutch Air Force, which are stationed at the Gander Air Base, will perform a fly-over.