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‘Forever grateful’: Dutch prime minister pays tribute to WWII vet who helped liberate the Netherlands

Click to play video: 'Dutch PM’s special tribute to Canadian war veteran who helped liberate Netherlands from Nazis'
Dutch PM’s special tribute to Canadian war veteran who helped liberate Netherlands from Nazis
WATCH: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte thanks Canadian war veteran Don White in historic speech in Parliament. David Akin reports – Oct 25, 2018

In Canada’s Parliament on Thursday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte praised 94-year-old World War II veteran Don White for his service in the Netherlands in 1945.

WATCH: WWII veteran says Dutch prime minister’s praise ‘touched me deeply’

Click to play video: 'WWII veteran says Dutch prime minister’s praise ‘touched me deeply’'
WWII veteran says Dutch prime minister’s praise ‘touched me deeply’

White, who was a part of the Royal Canadian Dragoons as a trooper, helped liberate the Netherlands from Nazi occupation.

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“[The Netherlands feels] deeply connected to Canada and we are forever grateful to those brave Canadian soldiers who carried the light of freedom to our country in its darkest hour,” Rutte said. “This we will never forget. Thank you, Canada.”

White was barely 20 years old when he was on the ground in the Netherlands, Rutte explained, and survived the war, while 7,600 other Canadian servicemen sacrificed their lives.

WATCH: Netherlands will forever be grateful to Canada, Dutch PM says

Click to play video: 'Dutch PM: Netherlands will forever be grateful to Canada'
Dutch PM: Netherlands will forever be grateful to Canada

Rutte read a letter White sent to his parents in April 1945, in which he detailed how grateful the Dutch were for having their town liberated from the Germans that the men “shake your hand off,” while the girls “kiss you,” and they are “so happy, they cry.”

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White received a standing ovation from the House of Commons while he gave the thumbs up.

“It really touched me deeply,” White said after the tribute to Global News. “It seemed to be centring on me but I hope people don’t take it that way because it wasn’t just me, it was all my buddies. And all the Canadians that were over there and not just me.”

White said he’s the last one still alive from his troop, but he is satisfied by the education Canadian children are receiving today about veterans, saying that it is “a lot better now than it was 20 years ago.”

“As a vet, it makes me feel good that things are shaping up the way they are,” he said.

WATCH: Dutch PM’s special tribute to Canadian war veteran who helped liberate Netherlands from Nazis

Click to play video: 'Dutch PM Rutte honours WWII veteran Don White during address to parliament'
Dutch PM Rutte honours WWII veteran Don White during address to parliament

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