Darrin DeCosta shared with us the special meaning the exhibit Maple Leaves and Tulips: 75 Years, Then & Now holds for his family. His grandfather, Edward Kobasiuk, was a Canadian soldier who landed on D-Day and went on to serve in the Netherlands, where he met a Dutch woman, Heintje Cohrs, at a dance in Utrecht during the summer of 1945. Heintje moved to Canada, becoming a war bride as the couple married in 1947. Edward and Heintje returned to Europe for the 40th anniversary of D-Day commemorations in France. They also went to the Netherlands, where they stayed with a young Dutch couple who were born after the war but grateful to Canadians for their role in the liberation.
In May 2018, Darrin and his parents traveled to Europe and visited the Juno Beach Centre during the commemorations of the liberation of the Netherlands and VE Day. His mother, Sheila, shared Edward Kobasiuk and Heintje Cohrs’s story with us, and laid a wreath during the commemorative ceremony.
About Maple Leaves and Tulips, Darrin told us, “We were able to weave in my grandparents’ personal story with your exhibit and my kids, 7 and 11, were able to get a good understanding of the value and the cost of freedom”. Darrin also sent us these colourings done by his children.
Thank you, Darrin and family, for continuing to make the JBC part of your commemorations!
Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.