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Canadians honoured with VE-Day parade

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Canadians honoured with VE-Day parade

APELDOORN, NETHERLANDS - Thousands of Dutch citizens turned out in the rain for a parade to mark the 60th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.

Sunday's parade in Apeldoorn was organized to honour Canadian soldiers who liberated the town as the Second World War ended in Europe. The event is the culmination of a week of ceremonies to mark the anniversay.

Hours before the festivities began, residents set up tents and lawn chairs to get a good view. Several children in the crowd presented the Canadians with flowers, while others waved Canadian flags.

"It's almost like Canada Day in Holland," said Brad Brown, a sailor from Halifax who was taking a break from duties on HMCS Montreal in Germany. "There are Canadian flags everywhere. The people are happy. People are wearing Canadian flag pins."

Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson watched as veterans travelled along the two-and-a-half-kilometre parade route.

Elsewhere in the Netherlands, U.S. President George W. Bush observed VE-Day in Margraten, near the German and Belgian border, where 8,000 American soldiers are buried.

He said the war taught the world's tyrants a lesson: "There is no power like the power of freedom."

Accompanied by Dutch Queen Beatrix, Bush laid a wreath at the cemetery's marble monument as Dutch buglers played "The Last Post."

Bush later headed to Moscow for a Victory Day parade through Red Square on Monday.

In Ottawa, VE-Day will be marked with a ceremony at the National War Memorial and by the official opening of the new Canadian War Museum by Prime Minister Paul Martin.

About 5,500 Canadians died trying to drive German forces out of the Netherlands in the spring of 1945.

At the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, close to the German border, there are rows and rows of white headstones bearing the names of Canadians who died in action.



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