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Liberation Forest

The town of Groningen created a living monument to the Canadian liberators of the Netherlands, a forest of some 30,000 maple trees. Dutch citizens purchased trees to plant in a woodland that was the scene of resistance activity during the war. On May 5, 1995, the Liberation Forest was officially unveiled.

Photos: Stichting Bevrijdingsbos.

There is a poem entitled "The Men of Maple Leaf" on display in the Canadian Embassy in the Netherlands. The poem is dedicated to the Canadian liberators of the Netherlands.

The Men of Maple Leaf

Bold they were, the combatants we knew
How deep our sympathy for them grew
South they came and fought their way
Memory engraved is that glorious day
Lives squandered, precious blood shed
Our want for freedom was finally met
There was scarely time to fraternize
The battle went on, at high a price
In the actions brave ones would fall
Facing their losses the men stood tall
It took three days to clear the town
Dislodging the enemy beyond our bounds
Stricken by panic some fled to the shore
Deserted or were scattered to the four
Many fighting wearied, surrendered fast
Our war torn hometown was freed at last
Smouldering ruins were marking the place
Where battering damaged her ancient face
Peace returned, the yoke of ware was gone
Thanks to the Canadians, a tough task done
To commemorate them we dedicate a forest yet
Maple leaves fell for us, lest we forget.
—J. Piëst

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