Canada is a huge country in North America, with its borders stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and from the Arctic Ocean to the U.S. border. Being a vast country, Canada displays much diversity from sea to sea. The beauty of the Atlantic Provinces is shown in its Atlantic shore line, sprinkled with villages and cities. Then follows the industrial provinces of Quebec and Ontario with their large cites of Montreal and Toronto. Ottawa, our nation’s capital, is located in Ontario and there we find the grand parliament buildings. Next follows the Prairie Provinces with their endless fields of golden grain as harvest time approaches. Finally, we come to Alberta and British Columbia. It is here where we meet the majestic Rocky Mountains, huge forests and beautiful Pacific Ocean shoreline, with more islands in the distance.
This country of Canada became our country in the early 1950s after we made our decision to emigrate from the Netherlands. Young and just married, we were anxious to build for ourselves a future in this country of Canada. We were at an age when we were full of energy and nothing was too big to attempt. It is here that we raised our children and grandchildren. It is here that we experienced our joys and sorrows. Strength from above was given to us to deal with all the challenges that came our way.
Canada has been good to us. As we came to a strange country, knowing a different language, we were well received and in many ways helped along. In Canada, we could be ourselves since we had freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of movement.
As Dutch citizens, we were already well connected with Canada before we arrived on the Atlantic shores of Halifax. During the Second World War, Holland was occupied by the Nazi regime of Hitler. Particularly during the last year of the war, times were very difficult for many people, especially in the cities. The basic needs for life were not available. At last when we were liberated by the Allies, many Canadian soldiers participated. Sadly, many young Canadian boys found their last resting place in Holland. They paid the supreme price for our freedom.
Thank you, Canada! This will not be forgotten in the Netherlands for many generations. May God continue to bless Canada in the future.
Trudy Van Woerden