My only direct connection to the wars that are remembered this day in Canada are through my parents, who were in their teens in the Netherlands during WW2. Both seldom mentioned their experiences during the war while alive. However, I later learned through my father’s autobiography that the times were challenging for his family. The worst, in his case, was being in hiding to escape the German labour-camp roundups, as well as surviving the Hongerwinter. The troubles he experienced affected him the rest of his life, which, in turn, affected our lives. In Canada, he always made a point of observing the ceremonies and being thankful for the Canadians who liberated his country from the Nazis.
Ironically, the tulip bulbs that the Dutch people send to Canada every year were what many, including my father’s family, survived on during the Hongerwinter.