At a time when very few of the people in Holland who were liberated by Canadian forces in 1945 are still alive, Dutch school children continue to mark mark the liberation which took place 77 years ago. They place candles at the several Canadian war cemeteries that are left as a reminder of the Canadian sacrifice in Holland. As the Canadian Embassy in Holland posted: “Every Christmas Eve, the Canadian Military Cemetery in Holten is transformed. A sea of candles placed by local children is a humbling & beautiful reminder of the fallen from WWII.”
After D-Day, as Allied forces moved through Europe, The Canadian army under the command of General Harry Crerar of Hamilton were given the job of driving the enemy out of Belgium and Holland. Most of this territory was in the Netherlands. In a month-long campaign beginning 6 October,1944 the Canadians fought in appalling conditions over open, flooded ground to capture the approaches to Antwerp. They lost over 6300 killed or wounded in the process.
This year, the first candle was placed at the grave of L.F Toney, a soldier of Mi’kmaq origin.