My Tech Travels and some Canadian History

SharePoint and Office 365 have expanded my world in ways I never expected.

Not only have they given me tremendous career opportunities and personal growth, they’ve now also given me a chance of a lifetime to visit somewhere my Father could only dream of visiting and has left me feeling both humble and grateful.

Recently I was honoured to learn I would be travelling to Belgium and the Netherlands for several speaking engagements. This trip has special meaning to me…

D-Day-Landing

D-Day landing 1944

My father comes from a large family of 11 brothers and sisters. His oldest brother, Roy, joined the Canadian army in July of 1941. My Uncle Roy served overseas in the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Holland and took part in the liberation of Holland, Belgium and France.

In 1944-45, his military records show he was in the North West Europe Campaign which started with landings in Normandy and ended with the German military surrender of all German forces in Holland. In my uncle’s words “the liberation of Holland was much different than the others as the people of Holland were starving and in dire straits”. Canadians were seen as heroes and to this day there is a strong connection and respect between the people of Canada and the Netherlands.

My Uncle Roy returned home to Canada in June 1945 and has since passed away. In June of this year, his son (my cousin) attended the D-Day commemorative ceremonies in France on behalf of his father for the 73rd anniversary of the landing and the battle of Normandy. It was a tremendously proud and somber moment.

I am honoured to be able to visit both Belgium and the Netherlands after all of these years and feel grateful for the role my Uncle and many others played in their liberation. I hope to visit some of the historic places during my time there.

-JCK

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