Doing the right thing comes at a cost Harper tells WW2 vets at VE Day service

Array

HOLTEN, Netherlands — Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid tribute to Canada’s war dead at a service in the Netherlands this morning.

He was joined by a few dozen surviving veterans of the battles to liberate northwest Europe, which culminated with the surrender of Nazi German forces 70 years ago.

Harper spoke of the great sacrifices made by the now-dwindling war-time generation, saying they understood that some things were worth fighting and dying for — a sentiment that remains today.

“The heroes who liberated the Netherlands, like the men and women who serve our country today understood that when there arises a great evil, a threat to all the things that define our existence as a free and just people, such enemies must be confronted,” he said.

He delivered the speech at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, near Arnhem, which contains the graves of 1,350 Canadian soldiers, many of whom were killed in the late stages of the war as the allies cleared the Netherlands and pushed into Germany.

Harper said each headstone was a stark reminder that doing the right thing often comes at a great cost — but a cost that must be paid.

“When tyranny threatens the free, when cruelty torments the innocent, when desperation overwhelms the human spirit, we choose to respond, we choose the high road forward, not the easy way out. We choose risk not for reward, but for righteousness, we choose to fight for freedom, we choose to defend the innocent, we choose to bring hope to the world.”

The nearby village of Holten was liberated by Canadians on April 8, 1945 after fierce house to house fighting. And Harper said the bond was forged between Canada and the Netherlands in those dark days still endures.

“Canadians will never forget the welcome our troops received in this country as the war ended. Canadians will never cease to marvel at how this starving and scarred land so quickly became the prosperous, progressive and generous country we know today, a partner in so many things, including Iraq.”

Just Posted

Hospitalizations jump in Red Deer due to opioid poisonings

Small city hospitals impacted more by opioid crisis

Central Alberta councils learn more about Bighorn Country proposal

A collection of central Alberta politicians are learning more about the province’s… Continue reading

High-speed chase led to fatal collision, jury hears

A Delburne man accused of manslaughter caused a fatal rollover collision during… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Online ads spoil Christmas surprises, raising privacy concerns: experts

Lisa Clyburn knew she had found the perfect gift for her nine-year-old… Continue reading

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

TORONTO — Canada Soccer has named striker Jordyn Huitema and defender Derek… Continue reading

Review: Too much Spider-Man? Not in the Spider-Verse

You might be forgiven for feeling superhero overload this holiday season. Had… Continue reading

‘Modern Family’s’ Sarah Hyland had second kidney transplant

LOS ANGELES — “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland says she had a… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Most Read