For Immediate Release (with photo)
Black Ribbon Day Marked in Montreal
Montreal – The Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Montreal branch and its member organizations, took part in an evening ecumenical service held August 23, marking National Black Ribbon Day, an annual Day of Remembrance in Canada for the victims of Nazi and Communist crimes. This day historically commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, “a sinister partnership treaty between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia that allowed each to violently and illegally seize the lands and peoples situated between them”.
In Montreal, representatives of eight communities, which included the Czech, Slovak, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian Hungarian, Polish and Ukrainian, were present and participated in the ceremony.
The program consisted of introductory remarks made by the president of the Lithuanian Canadian community, Montreal branch, regarding the historical importance of annually commemorating National Black Ribbon Day and the need to remind Canadians, especially the younger generation, of the significance of remembering history as a deterrent that such horrendous crimes by totalitarian regimes never happen again.
The opening comments were followed by a prayer said and the singing of the national anthem by representatives of each country affected, present at the ceremony. Father Ihor Oshchipko of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church recited the prayer in Ukrainian, followed by soloist Oksana Kostovich singing “Shche Ne Vmerla Ukrajina”. Each nation’s flag was displayed in front of the church alter bringing attention to those that fought to keep their country’s independence and fought against Nazi and Communist occupations. The ceremony was concluded with the reading of the resolution passed unanimously in 2009 by the Government of Canada, introduced by members of parliament Bob Rae and Borys Wrezesnewskyj, declaring National Black Ribbon Day and the signing of “O Canada”. Canada accepted hundred of thousands of immigrants after World War Two fleeing Nazi and Soviet Communist occupations seeking refuge and freedom in a new land.
The event, held at Our Lady Gate of Dawn Lithuanian Church, was organized by Mr. Arunas Staskevicius, the Honorary consul of Lithuania in Montreal with the assistance of Zorianna Hrycenko-Luhova, president and Bohdanna Klecor -Hawryluk, cultural chairperson of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Montreal branch.
The event was particularly important in bringing these communities together and forming working relationships for future projects.
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Representatives of various communities in Montreal at the National Black Ribbon Day ceremony.
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