Canadian Tulip Festival, Highway of Heroes, Beechwood Cemetery come together for Liberation75 Tulip Bulb Planting in the Living Tribute Garden

October 3, 2019 — Defence Stories

A special ceremony was held at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the start of the Scheldt campaign, which led to the liberation of Holland and ultimate victory of the Allies.

The ceremony featured the planting of the Liberation75 signature tulip in the Living Tribute commemorative garden. The ceremony was hosted by Mark Cullen, Canada’s gardening guru, Campaign Chair and co-founder of the Highway to Heroes Tree Campaign which is sponsored by Frank Cowan Company. Grant Hooker, President of the Canadian Tulip Festival and Nicholas McCarthy, Director of Marketing, Communications and Community Outreach at Beechwood Cemetery were also on hand for this official planting.

This event marked the second of three events culminating with a spring blooming ceremony in May, 2020 – one of the many events commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. The Living Tribute Garden was created on June 6, 2019 (75th Anniversary of D-Day) as a joint partnership of  the Festival, Highway of Heroes and Beechwood Cemetery.

Background on Battle of Scheldt

The Battle of the Scheldt in World War II was a series of military operations led by the First Canadian Army, with Canadian, Polish and British units attached, to open up the shipping route to Antwerp so that its port could be used to supply the Allies in north-west Europe. Under acting command of the First Canadian’s Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds, the battle took place in northern Belgium and southwestern Netherlands from October 2 to November 8, 1944.

Canadian Tulip Festival

The Canadian Tulip Festival is a 10-day commemorative festival, held annually in May in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with over 300,000 tulips displayed in Commissioners Park on the shores of Dow’s Lake. This Festival site features a Heritage Pavilion that re-lives the events of the Second World War wherein the Festival has its origins. Canadians remember Veterans November 11th with the poppy; the Festival commemorates Veterans on the Festival’s Veterans Day – the Tuesday of the Festival —at Beechwood Cemetery with the tulip a symbol of spring, hope and international friendship.

Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign

In 2014 a group of tree-loving people were inspired to transform the Highway of Heroes into a living tribute that honours Canada’s war dead – 117,000 since Confederation. In addition to honouring our troops the commemorative trees would clean the atmosphere, cool the environment and provide an inspired drive down an otherwise pedestrian stretch of asphalt. The Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign was developed to make this a reality.

Since that time, support has grown, as have the project’s ambitions. The 117,000 most prominent trees will be planted in honour of those who lost their lives, and in addition,  a total of 2 million trees will be planted to recognize all Canadians who have served during times of war. Already underway, tree planting events educate volunteers about sacrifices that have been made. Military personnel and veterans frequently attend these events themselves.

Beechwood Cemetery

Beechwood Cemetery, located in Ottawa, Ontario, is the National Cemetery of Canada. It is the final resting place for over 85,000 Canadians from all walks of life, such as important politicians like Governor General Ramon Hnatyshyn and Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden, Canadian Forces Veterans, War Dead, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and men and women who have made a mark on Canadian history. In addition to being Canada’s National Cemetery, it is also the National Military Cemetery of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police National Memorial Cemetery and CSIS National Memorial Cemetery.

Media Contact: Kita Szpak, Canadian Tulip Festival,, #613-725-3063

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