Rowland honors Canadian Liberators during Normandy commemoration

Roland Heddes (meest rechtste soldaat op de foto), met zijn re-enactment vereniging bij het Canadese huis (foto: Roland Heddes).

This Thursday marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. Today the beginning of the liberation of much of Europe is commemorated in the French coastal department. Drunen’s Roland Heddes represents the Canadian Army through his re-enactment association. “We must not forget what happened.”

A celebration is scheduled to be held in Normandy with government leaders and princes from various countries. Among them are French President Emmanuel Macron and King Willem-Alexander. Roland Heddes will also be there with his fellow reenactors.

The Reenactment Society re-enacts military events and shows how certain facts from history occurred. The Rowland Reenactment Society, ’40-45′, focuses primarily on the Canadian and English Allies.

“We are at Canadian Home on Thursday, the first home liberated on D-Day.”

On Thursday, he will represent Canadians during the D-Day commemorations. “So we are in the Canadian house. “This is the first house that was liberated in 1944. This house is still there, and half of it is owned by Canadians.”

The fact that they were allowed to represent Canadians there has to do with a 2001 meeting between 40-45 and the Canadian Army Group.Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada‘. That group was part of the Allies. The Canadians were so impressed with the reenactment society that they participated in all the activities. And so also on the anniversary of Victory Day.

“Every year, June 6th is circled in red for me because it’s so important that we don’t forget.”

“We think it’s very important to give people the message of World War II,” says Rowland. “Everyone acts as if the freedom we have now is self-evident. But back then people weren’t allowed to do anything at all. It’s important to get that message across.”

The celebration means a lot to Roland. It touches him when he talks about what awaits him on Thursday. “We must honor those who fought for us,” he says emotionally. “Every year, June 6th is circled in red for me because it is so important not to forget it. As long as I can, I will always come back here to honor the editors. We are forever grateful to them.”

Roland with his reenactment society (Photo: Ronald Hedders).
Roland with his reenactment society (Photo: Ronald Hedders).

You may also find this interesting:

There are also Lichtjesroute veterans Peter and Hugo in Normandy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top