Jan de Vries was one of the best of what we have come to call “The Greatest Generation.” Mr. de Vries landed on D-Day and fought until the end of the war. He was president of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, was instrumental in the building of the Juno Beach Centre, and was a staunch supporter of the Tony Stacey Centre for Veterans Care.
De Vries might best be remembered as one of the most effective voices for his generation and the memory of the Second World War. In an excellent article, National Post writer Matt Gurney, reflected on listening to de Vries speak at Wilfrid Laurier University. He marveled at “why he was so good at speaking to students. He made it real to them in a way little else could.”
News outlets have also made note of the passing of this influential veteran:
- Jan de Vries’ obituary in the Toronto Star
- Durham Region, “We will remember Pickering’s Jan de Vries“
- Durham Region, “Death of Pickering war veteran mourned“
Jan De Vries and his candour will be missed.
This article was made possible by the hard work of our staff and especially our student-volunteers. Please consider supporting our work by clicking here.