On 16 October 2014, the Canadian War Museum partnered with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to host the first in the Embassy’s national series of lectures “From Memory to Remembrance” in the Museum’s Barney Danson Theatre. The Embassy launched the series in the fall of 2014, with subsequent events in February and April 2015, with Canadian and Dutch scholars helping the audience to follow the Canadian military campaign from the Battle of the Scheldt to the German capitulation at Wageningen on 5 May 1945. Attended by His Excellency Governor General David Johnston, the Ottawa event featured Terry Copp, Wilfrid Laurier University, who lectured on how the Canadians’ major engagements in the Scheldt Battle unfolded, and Ben Schoenmaker of the University of Leiden and Netherlands Institute of Military History, who spoke to the Dutch perspective of the 1944-1945 battles and views of the liberating forces. Dean Oliver, Director of Research at the Canadian Museum of History moderated. On 26 February 2015, the University of Calgary hosted the second instalment of the series, moderated by David Bercuson and featuring Canadian historian Mark Zuehlke and Erwin van Loo, Senior Research Fellow at the Dutch Institute for Military History. The final instalment in the series took place in Fredericton on 1 April 2015, in partnership with the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society, and featured the Centre’s Deputy Director, Lee Windsor, and Lieutenant-Colonel Wouter Hagemeijer, Assistant Professor at the Netherlands Defence Academy. The event was moderated by Marc Milner, the Gregg Centre’s director.

His Excellency Cees Kole, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Canada, opened the first event in the series Ambassador Kole joined the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1984. Before his posting to Ottawa in 2013, he served in diplomatic postings in Warsaw, Brussels, Paris, and as ambassador to Iran. The ambassador’s speech opening the From Memory to Remembrance series offers some interesting insights into the interplay between lived experiences, history, and remembrance, as well as highlighting the many connections between Canada and the Netherlands, which the presenters in the series further underlined. The speech is reproduced in full below.