On 17 April 1945 the Canadian military forces were able to liberate Apeldoorn. Therefore every year there is a celebration event being held in the morning at “het Sluisje” and in the evening in the “Oranjepark” in Apeldoorn on which RCL Branch 005 is always present.
Gerard Hendriks and Martin van de Poel represented RCL Branch 005 in the morning at the memorial at “Het sluisje” (sluice) in Apeldoorn. In short a piece of history:
In 1945 a few fighters of the Dutch resistance made the crossing at “Het sluisje” to the Canadians, who were at the other side preparing themselves to liberate and take over Apeldoorn. This all preceded by a massive bombardment, which should chase away the in large numbers remaining Germans (so the Canadians thought). In that case most of Apeldoorn would have been destroyed. The Dutch fighters found a way to cross the enemy lines to convince the Canadian commander there were only few Germans left in the city. The commander sent out a patrol of tanks and LAV’s together with the Dutch fighters to the sluice and they actually found out they did not meet many resistance of the Germans. The bombing of Apeldoorn was cancelled and the Canadians were able to lay siege to the city of Apeldoorn with not too much difficulty.
At the memorial of “Het sluisje” there were many people present. Amongst them also relatives of the fighters of the Dutch resistance of that day in the war. A wreath and flowers were laid with great respect.
In the Oranjepark near the monument – “de man met de vlag” – invitees and many children of primary schools from around Apeldoorn were gathered in the early evening hours. The children were accompanied to the park by a parade of historical army vehicles which were lined up aside the park.
RCL Branch 005 gave presence this year again with a Colour Party of six. Together with the Pipes and Drums of the City of Apeldoorn, followed by children carrying the fire of freedom, the Party marched to the monument in the park. The flame was brought in by runners of the athletics association AV’34. These runners started in Wilp, which is about 15/20 km on the eastside of Apeldoorn. At that specific place the Canadians crossed the river – the IJssel – and started their advance to Apeldoorn. This historical route is taken by the runners every year.
The presentation and accompanied speeches, which were performed outstandingly by children of the primary schools of Apeldoorn, made everybody aware of the fact that you cannot take freedom for granted. The mayor gave a speech, in which he emphasized the importance of liberty and lit up the fire of freedom. All balloons were set free by the children to celebrate this moment.