Canada, we miss you!
I raise the Dutch flag in front of my home in Breda in the early morning light. A bright blue of infinity provides a striking backdrop to three stripes of red, white and blue bound solidly together.
The skies above the Netherlands 75 years ago today were filled with liberation aircraft as Allied troops brought long-awaited hope. The war was over. Freedom prevailed.
Today, that same sky was cloudless, devoid even of the contrails of the airplanes that should have brought so many of those Canadian and other Allied heroes back to the land they bravely helped to free.
Celebrating freedom while voluntarily locked down. How ironic.
As a Canadian living in the Netherlands now for three decades, I wanted to reflect upon what binds the nations of my two passports. It is one thing to be a citizen of a country liberated, but a tremendous honour to also be a citizen of one of its liberators. We are both a modest people, yet innately proud of our respective countries. We help those in need within our borders, yet we also have long arms that bring those hands around the globe. We treat others with dignity, and by rules whether written or simply defined by mutual respect for the other. As a result, we are respected everywhere, even in a world scorn with divisions. We are both a friendly people, and we recognize the virtues of family and friends.