The Winnipeg man marching 20 km to mark the liberation of The Netherlands

Honourary Col. Bob Williams, of the Fort Garry House regiment, began his first walk on Tuesday morning near the Assiniboine Park footbridge.

A Winnipeg man is marching 20 kilometres two days in a row to mark the 76th anniversary of the liberation of The Netherlands

Honourary Col. Bob Williams, of the Fort Garry House regiment, began his first walk on Tuesday morning near the Assiniboine Park footbridge.

His walks are in replacement of the Nijmegen March in The Netherlands, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m going to be [walking] from this house in St. James, all the way to almost the Perimeter and back, which is 20 km,” he said.

“I’ve got a 10-pound pack on, (a) uniform, and I will do that today and I will do that tomorrow.”

Williams noted he is doing the walks as a way to remember those who died, and he will be telling those who’ve joined him on the walks stories about the fallen soldiers.

“I’ve always admired the military and this is one way I can pay back,” he said.

Williams noted he was supposed to go to Holland last year, but that trip was cancelled due to the pandemic.

“We were supposed to be there for the 75th anniversary, last year, with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. COVID got us,” he said.

“It wasn’t going to get me this year. For sure, I was going to do this march.”

In The Netherlands, May 4 is a day where people visit the gravesites of the soldiers that gave their lives to liberate the country.

- With files from CTV’s Ken Gabel.