Frank Graham Cycle Liberation Tour , Part Three

Frank Graham

One more time

“One more time” these were the words of our liberator Frank Graham to our own young veteran Erik Paskamp and to me on the 11th of November (Remembrance Day) in Canada. Representing the Canada Committee Markelo we asked Frank Graham and Bert Reynolds to join us once again for the 3rd Cycle Liberation Tour, in 2017 in Markelo. Frank didn’t consider long and answered: “One more time I will come to Markelo”.  It would be really great when “Mister Veteran Markelo” Frank and his buddy “Big Smile” Bert will be able to join us one more time, being two the eldest WW II veterans still with us. To be able to thank them one more time, to cry one more time, to laugh one more time and to party one more time would be “unbelievable”


This third Cycle Liberation Tour makes the trilogy complete. We started at Juno Beach Normandy in 2013 with our liberation tour, succeeded by an emotional persecution tour from Auschwitz Poland in 2015 and now we are about to start in the UK with the resistance tour.  Through England, the training place of the resistance, we will make the transfer to the main land. The tour will guide us through famous and less famous resistance remembrance spots in the UK and the Netherlands. The final tour day will lead us through our own streets of resistance in Markelo; G.W.B Wondaal Street, J. C. Romeijn Alley, the Hardenberg Street, the Ten Hove Street and the Oost Street.  After the tour arrival, a number of remembrance and celebration days will commence.  The riders will be supported by our Canadian pipe and drum band, the second wave of Canadian veterans, family members and friends.


I’m proud to see how the solidarity of Markelo is seen through the nation.  Often our events are used as examples how to pass on the commemoration to the next generation. This can’t be done without our host families and volunteers, who opened their hearts and houses to host our Canadian liberators, their families, friends and our riders. Our riders are the ambassadors of freedom who will carry on the liberation flame of freedom. Together with partner organizations like the “Contact Oud Mariniers”, the Dutch veterans, the Liberation Route Europe, the Welcome Again Veterans, the Canadian cemetery in Holten, the Joël Stoppels Battlefield Tours and many others, we will organize one more time a great Frank Graham Cycle Liberation Tour. 


Canada Comité Markelo

The committee has started with all major preparations for 2017. A lot of work is done behind the scenes by dear friends and volunteers, not always visible but who are crucial to achieving the successes of the Canada Committee. In 2017 the Canada Committee will celebrate its 10th anniversary.  A great and rewarding time lies ahead. New committee members have been added to the team and a second group will be added.

A few committee members, myself included, will say goodbye to the committee, leaving a strongly committed, next generation team, to prepare for the next challenge:  It is up to them how the 75th anniversary of the liberation of our country will be commemorated in 2020.

But until then, I say on behalf of all of us “One more time.”



Lest we Forget

Gert-Jan Oplaat