Mr. Chair, this week we mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands and Victory in Europe Day. We honour all those great Canadians.
There are many events of which we are proud in Canada's military history. One of the best-known and most significant was the liberation of the Netherlands.
The Dutch people have never forgotten the efforts of our brave soldiers to free their country after years of harsh German occupation during the Second World War.
In the liberation of the Netherlands, 7,600 Canadians perished over the course of a brutal nine-month campaign. In doing so, they laid the foundation for seven decades of peace and prosperity.
Last year, I had the honour of attending a ceremony on Juno Beach to recognize Canada's major contribution to the war. I stood on the same beach as thousands of young Canadians 76 years ago. I could imagine their courage as they fought against the forces of hate.
Standing there with Canadian veterans who made the trip back to where they fought was something that I'll never forget. Those who made the ultimate sacrifice had their young lives cut short so that we could stand here today as free people. We will never forget them.
On behalf of all New Democrats on this 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, and to mark Victory in Europe Day, we express our gratitude to all our veterans for their service. We pay tribute to their sacrifices.
We will always remember.