Liberation Day parade in Wageningen

Trip Start Apr 27, 2010
Trip End May 08, 2010

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Flag of Netherlands  , Gelderland,
Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Today was a very special day on our tour. May 5th is a national holiday here (Liberation Day) and the town in which the parade we participated in was held (Wageningen)is known as The City of Liberation.  Over 100 000 people showed up in Wageningen today, and I'll try to explain the atmosphere here.

Our whole day was spent in Wageningen.  When we arrived in the late morning, we got our bearings of the location as a group.  Many many volunteers had set up WWII displays, re-enactments and such for the visitors to watch and discuss.  There were food vendors set up and veterans everywhere to discuss their experiences with the students.  For lunch, the students were given a "ration box" that heated up by itself – many students wanted to keep the box! 

The parade itself began around 3:30pm.  The students of our tour lined up carrying the flags of each school and the national flag, and they were following the veterans in the parade.  Over 100 000 Dutch locals lined the streets and cheered the veterans as each car passed, with the veterans waving and smiling back at the crowds.  It is difficult to put onto the page here the emotions on display.  This parade was a celebration, and the Dutch people were indeed once again appreciative of the Canadian veterans.  It was a very moving day.

In the evening, after an informal stop for pizza and pub fare, the group arrived back at the hotel and wound down with some time in the pool and sauna.  I think they are getting used to this…
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