On May 8, 1945, after more than six years of war, Nazi Germany surrendered to the Western Allies and the Soviet Union and World War II ended in Europe.
For the first time since September 1939, when Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union together invaded and occupied Poland, peace returned to the continent.
Today – on Victory in Europe Day – we recall our eternal gratitude to the brave men and women who served Canada in WWII. Of the more than 1 million Canadians who served in World War II, some 40,000 were of Ukrainian heritage. More than 45,000 Canadians made the supreme sacrifice and over 55,000 were wounded in the struggle to defeat tyranny. May Their Memory Be Eternal. Вічная Пам’ять.
While on the Western front, Canada and the Western allies liberated Europe from Nazi despotism, on the Eastern front, Stalin’s Soviet Union brought more oppression, death and cruelty to the captive nations of Eastern Europe.
Deliverance from Soviet Communist colonialism for the nations of Eastern Europe would not come until some four decades after the end of World War II.
Today the freedom for which so many fought and died in WWII and in the decades after is once again threatened by Russian aggression and tyranny. Russia wages war against Ukraine, seeking to annihilate the Ukrainian people and destroy the Ukrainian state.
Russia murders Ukrainian civilians; targets residential areas with air and missile strikes; abducts and forcibly deports Ukrainian children. Russia is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity on a scale not seen in Europe since WWII. This is Genocide.
Just as the Nazi German war machine was defeated 1945, so too must the Russian war machine be defeated. Today we honour the members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who courageously defend their country and all of Europe from Russian despotism.
After more than 400 days of total war waged against Ukraine by the Russian enemy, the Ukrainian people, united and undaunted, fight on.
On this Victory in Europe Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to do all in our power to ensure that Ukraine’s Victory Day come as soon as possible.
Слава Україні! Героям Слава!
On May 8, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress was honoured to partner with the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood and the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada to mark Ukrainian Remembrance Day and honour all those who have lost their lives in the defence of the people of Ukraine and remember the historical connection between Canada and Ukraine.