Governor General commemorates liberation of Netherlands in Second World War
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, August 31, 2019 6:31PM EDT
Governor General Julie Payette commemorated the liberation of the Netherlands on Saturday, marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Scheldt aboard a Canadian ship in the Dutch city of Terneuzen.
Payette awarded Alice Van Bekkum, Marc Fraser and Albert Hartkamp with the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers for keeping the "memory of the fallen alive."
She also awarded Paul Schouten, a serving member of the Dutch Army, with the Meritorious Service Decoration, which recognizes exceptional Canadians.
Canada played a key role in the Battle of Scheldt, which was a major step in the liberation of the Netherlands and the end of the Second World War in Europe.
Payette is in Terneuzen as part of a four-day trip to the Netherlands and Poland to commemorate the Second World War.
During her visit, the Governor General also met with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
"Canada shares a strong relationship with both the Netherlands and Poland, based on our shared history and common values," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a written statement.
"This visit is a chance for the Governor General to discuss how we can work together to tackle our world's most pressing issues -- and build a more peaceful, prosperous future on both sides of the Atlantic."
This is be Payette's first official visit to both the Netherlands and Poland. The last Governor General to visit the two countries was David Johnston in 2014.