The answer is yes. I could tell you of one situation, and it involves Prince Bernhard.
It was the commemorative situation in the year 2000. I was in Holland. I had been taken over there by the people of the city of Venlo, where I had knocked the bridges down. They found out that I had done this and they invited my wife and me over for a celebration for a week in May 2000. I discovered that there was a big parade on at Wageningen, and I arranged to have tickets for that purpose. It was at the end of the week, on a Saturday, and I was in full uniform.
I always get permission from whoever is Chief of the Defence Staff to wear my uniform. That is appropriate, and I do that. I now have an official role again in the military, as the honorary adviser to the Chief of the Defence Staff. We met this morning.
In any event, I got to this parade and I was sitting behind the saluting base. When the parade started, it was Prince Bernhard who was taking the salute. He was not in uniform. When the parade finished, we went to a big reception in a building next door to that location.
My wife and I went into this building, and we were milling around with people. There was a couple of steps and a glass door. I said to Mary-O, “Prince Bernhard is in there, I'll bet you.” We went up to the door and a man was guarding the door. I had all my stuff on and he opened the door. I went in with my wife. In a minute a young person from the air force, with an aglet, appeared to me and said, “General, you and I wear the same wings.” He happened to be the head of the air force, a young general. I said, “We're here, and we think we'd like to see Prince Bernhard. He's over there.” He said, “Ah.” Within about a minute—Prince Bernhard was sitting with two beautiful old ladies, so it was okay—he took us over to meet Prince Bernhard.
As it turns out, he was an old pilot. I'm an old pilot. We bonded immediately. I have pictures of this meeting. In a minute he had his arm around my back and I had my arm around his back. We became good friends instantly. I corresponded with him until he died. Whenever it was May 5, I would send him a little note.
The reality is that the people of Holland really remember. They see the contribution that Canada made to their freedom. With all of the people who are still there in the graves, 7,000 plus, they have not forgotten. The Germans treated them so badly during the war that to have a response of this kind stayed with them—and with us when we go to be with them.
That's just one instance.