By the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada: His Excellency Henk van der Zwan.
Between September 2019 and October 2020, the Netherlands will be commemorating and celebrating the 75th anniversary of its liberation from the Nazi oppression. Canadian forces played a decisive role in the liberation. The people of the Netherlands will never forget that 7,600 Canadians gave their lives in the effort to free our country, and we will be forever grateful.
During the Second World War, the Dutch Royal Family found a safe haven in Canada. As an expression of gratitude for Canada’s hospitality, the Dutch Royal Family presented Canada with a gift of 100,000 tulips at the end of the Second World War. This gift has led to the tulip tradition in Canada’s capital and the birth of the largest annual tulip festival in the world, the Canadian Tulip Festival. The tulip has become the symbol of Dutch-Canadian friendship.
In honour of this special anniversary, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has repeated this 1945 post-war gift from the Dutch Royal Family of 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canada. Some 1,100 schools across Canada will each receive 75 of the Liberation75 tulip bulbs, along with this education guide to contextualize the historical significance of Canada’s role in liberating the Netherlands and providing our Royal Family with a safe haven.
It is my great honour to invite teachers, students, and local veterans to participate in our “75 Years of Freedom” celebrations across the country.
Thank you, Canada!
Henk van der Zwan