A Comment from Niagara resident Linda McKellar, on the 75th Anniversary of Canadian Forces Liberating the Netherlands
Posted May 5th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
A dear late friend, Douglas Peeler from Welland, volunteered although he was under age and fought to liberate the Netherlands. He was a big, cheerful man and in his later years with his white hair and beard he looked like a jolly Santa Claus.
Decades after the war a citizen he met there located him, invited him back and he took part in a parade as the star attraction leading the parade in a Jeep. He was featured in newspapers there and his wife has the photos and clippings.
One evening I was hosting Doug, his wife and another couple for dinner and he said about that honor; “I must have done something good”.
The other couple was originally from Holland. Jan was a child during the war and suffered greatly to the point of starvation. When the two men came together that evening, finding kindred souls, stories came out that they had never shared with anyone, astounding their wives!
We spoiled Canadians from later generations cannot imagine what those soldiers and civilians suffered.
I lost a cousin at Buron, Garnett Trimble from Guelph, fighting with the HLI during 1944. He is buried at Beny Sur Mer. Two other cousins were in the same battle.
The Netherlands and Canada will always have a special bond.
Canadians are thankful that they (the people of the Netherlands) still remember what our fathers and grandfathers did and we must remember as well, including those who never came back. It would be wonderful if others shared their stories here.
Linda McKellar is a retired nurse and resident of Fort Erie, Ontario, who has frequently shared her views on issues of interest with Niagara At Large
For a Statement Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released earlier this May 5th, 2020 on the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/05/05/a-tribute-to-canadians-who-liberated-the-netherlands-75-years-ago/
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