Tomorrow evening, on December 24th, Dutch schoolkids go to the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten and place almost 1500 candles on the graves of all fallen soldiers.
This tradition was initiated in 1991 by Leena van Dam. Finland, her native country, has a long history of commemorating their fallen loved ones this way. Mrs van Dam financed the candles for a period of five years.
The Holten Foundation “Welcome Again Veterans” took over the costs of the candles until 2011. Since then the Foundation Celebration National Holidays, together with the Holten elementary schools, has organized and funded the event.
We cherish this wonderful tradition to commemorate our (grand)fathers. Of course, we’ll be visiting Holten during the IOFF pilgrimage in May 2020.