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Flowers of Friendship

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Tulips pop up every spring in Ottawa—our country’s capital city. These beautiful blooms are a unique thank you gift from the country the Netherlands. Canadian soldiers helped free that country during the Second World War.

We also helped the members of their royal family by inviting Princess Juliana and her daughters to live safely in Ottawa during the conflict. They were given a warm welcome in Ottawa. Dutch Princess Margriet was even born here! The new princess’s name meant “daisy of freedom.” Daisies grew in the Netherlands during the war and people wore them as a symbol of hope and freedom.

During the war in the Netherlands, it was a difficult time for the people who lived there.


Sadly, more than 7,600 Canadians died in the war while helping to free the Netherlands in 1944-1945. But the Dutch people have never forgotten how the Canadian soldiers helped them. They have sent us thousands of tulip bulbs every year since the end of the war as a gift of thanks.

These blooms are a symbol of the international friendship between Canada and the Netherlands that blossomed between the two countries during the Second World War.

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