World

Dutch, Canadian prime ministers lead off a week of WWII remembrance events

  • Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen Harper, pay their respects to Canada's war dead at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, near Arnhem, Netherlands, on Monday, May 4, 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

    Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen Harper, pay their respects to Canada's war dead at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, near Arnhem, Netherlands, on Monday, May 4, 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during memorial ceremonies in honor of Canadian soldiers who died during the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945 at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, east Netherlands, Monday, May 4, 2015. Harper is in the Netherlands to mark the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Vincent Jannink)

    Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during memorial ceremonies in honor of Canadian soldiers who died during the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945 at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, east Netherlands, Monday, May 4, 2015. Harper is in the Netherlands to mark the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Vincent Jannink)  (The Associated Press)

  • Canadian World War II veteran Frank Graham, center, attends memorial ceremonies in honor of Canadian soldiers who died during the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945 at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, east Netherlands, Monday, May 4, 2015. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in the Netherlands to mark the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Vincent Jannink)

    Canadian World War II veteran Frank Graham, center, attends memorial ceremonies in honor of Canadian soldiers who died during the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945 at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, east Netherlands, Monday, May 4, 2015. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in the Netherlands to mark the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Vincent Jannink)  (The Associated Press)

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper are meeting to kick off a week of celebrations and remembrances to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands at the end of World War II.

During a series of ceremonies all through the week, Harper and leading Canadian officials will commemorate the 7,600 countrymen who died while helping to liberate the nation from Nazi oppression.

From the autumn of 1944 right through the next spring, the First Canadian Army played a major role in liberating the Netherlands. The last German soldiers in the Netherlands surrendered on May 5, 1945.

During the war, some members of the Dutch royal family stayed in Canada and many bonds have lasted to this day.