When Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako Van Popta acquired 100 special commemorative pins to remember the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian troops, the plan was to hand them out at public events planned to celebrate the anniversary.
The blue and red emblem of a torch was produced by the Netherlands to celebrate “75 years of freedom” and recipients are invited to wear it or give it to someone else.
“Share our freedom” reads the card the pin comes attached to.
With the COVID-19 crisis, the planned events have been called off and now, the Langley-Aldergrove constituency office is offering the pins, free, to people who either phone the office at 604-534-5955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to have them mailed.
A contact-free pickup at the office can be arranged.
“This year marks 75 years since Canadian troops liberated the Netherlands from Nazi occupation, said Vamn Popa.
“While we had hoped to commemorate in person, we are happy that we can still offer these lapel pins as a symbol of remembrance and celebration.”
As of Monday April 27th, about 75 pins remained of the original 100.
It is one of several measures to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, which is being celebrated in 2020 by the Canadian Tulip Festival, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, and the National Capital Commission through special Liberation 75 tulips.
More than 7,600 Canadian soldiers died during the fight to drive Nazi forces out of the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, Liberation Day is celebrated each year on May 5 to mark the end of the occupation.
Last year, a Canada-wide initiative was launched to plant 1.1 million of the tulips across the country to recognize the milestone and the 1.1 million Canadians who served in the Second World War.
In October, a tulip planting ceremony was held at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum, in the 21200 block of Fraser Highway, attended by Henk Snoeken, Consul-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and residents who had experienced the liberation firsthand.
Those Liberation 75 bulbs have now bloomed into bright orange tulips, the colour associated with the Dutch.
Flowering each April, the display will be a reminder of the hard-fought victory by Canadians soldiers and a symbol of the friendship between Canada and the Netherlands.
Notable locations for viewing large plantings of red, ‘Canadian Liberator’ blooming tulips include Seaforth Armoury, Victory Square and Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, the New Chelsea Society seniors’ homes and at the Highway of Heroes sign in the Fraser Valley on Highway One.
Derek Doubleday Arboretum also features the Walk to Remember and commemorative structure for soldiers who fell in Afghanistan, an oak tree grown from an acorn from Vimy Ridge, and the Gapyeong Stone, which recognizes the Canadians who played a pivotal role during the Korean War.