The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation, in association with the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, is raising funds to install a commemorative stained glass window in a church in London, England, honouring the men and women who volunteered for overseas service during the Second World War. Some of these veterans remained in Europe afterwards and helped rescue thousands of Ukrainian political refugees and Displaced Persons.
The Heroes of Their Day Project is named for a memoir of that title by Flight Lieutenant G R B Panchuk. These Canadian and American soldiers saved thousands of Ukrainians from forcible repatriation to the Soviet Union. Many of those very same DPs went on to make significant contributions to the life of the Ukrainian diaspora, not only in the USA and Canada but in Australia and across Europe, as they told the truth about Ukraine’s struggle for independence and bore witness to what happened during the Holodomor. If it had not been for those who helped the DPs many of us would not be here today, for those refugees were our parents and grandparents.
Donations can be made online at www.ucclf.ca or mailed to UCCLF, 48 Wood Crest Close SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2W 3P9.
Overall, the Heroes project has a budget of just over $100,000. The plan is to unveil this window in May 2020, marking the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. Fittingly, this memorial will be installed on the very site of the Central Ukrainian Relief Bureau’s HQ, where these men and women gathered during the war years in their “London Club,” reaffirming who they were as Ukrainians even as they served bravely in the ranks of the armed forces of all of the Allied nations.