SAINT JOHN -- Tulips are synonymous with the Netherlands and now thousands of special tulips are being planted to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands at the end of the Second World War.

Under a bright autumn sun, 93-year-old Aubrey Moore lends a helping hand planting tulip bulbs outside a nursing home in east Saint John.

If Mother Nature is on their side, the bulbs will bloom when the weather warms up next year -- just in time to mark a major historical milestone.

"The Dutch people had a very special place in their minds for Canadians," said Moore, who was stationed in Germany in the 1950s and has fond memories of visiting Holland and the way Canadians were received in the years following liberation.

"They had such an admiration for Canadians," Moore said. "If you were Canadian in Holland, you were in."

Memories of that time also stick with his son, Terry Moore.

"The things I remember most were the German compounds," said Terry Moore. "We went to a couple of concentration camps that had been torn down, so I have a vivid memory of that because I was just a young kid."

The planting is part of the larger Liberation 75 commemoration campaign, which aims to see 1.1 million tulips planted in honour of the 1.1 million Canadians who served in the Second World War.

It's also personal for landscaper Jim Landry, whose father fought in Holland. He brought in 2,000 tulips to plant in total.

"We planted 75 here today, we planted a few more this morning, actually, on the other side of the road," said Landry. "We've got a short window. It's all gotta happen during the month of October and perhaps the start of November."