The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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From Memory to Remembrance Lecture Series

Ottawa, Ontario, Thursday, October 16, 2014


Thank you for your warm welcome and for being here today for this important event.

As governor general and commander-in-chief of Canada, I am pleased to have this opportunity to learn more about the liberation of the Netherlands, and to honour the Canadian soldiers who served in that effort.

We are indebted to those brave Canadians. Many were killed and wounded, and we owe it to them to know the history of the war and to work together for peace.

I would also like to say thank you to the people of the Netherlands, who have been so steadfast in their remembrance.

The liberation and the war effort forged a friendship between our peoples that endures to this day.

This is, of course, particularly evident here in Ottawa, where Princess Margriet was born in 1943, and where then-Crown Princess Juliana lived out the war in exile with her daughters.

The young royal family even stayed for a time at Rideau Hall, where I now live and work with my wife, Sharon.

About a year-and-a-half ago, I had the privilege of travelling to the Netherlands for the investiture of His Royal Highness Willem-Alexander. During that visit, I was pleased to attend a reception in honour of the present-day Dutch volunteers who are preserving the history of the liberation in communities including Holten, Groesbeek and Bergen op Zoom.

To have the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers so faithfully remembered and honoured means a great deal to our veterans, and to Canada.

Canada and the Netherlands are great friends and share much in common, and the liberation is an important part of our story.

It is an example of our two peoples working together to defend the values we hold dear. May the memory of this difficult time in our history inspire us to co-operate in the building of a more just and peaceful world today and in future.

Thank you again for being here. I wish you the very best.