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Ukrainian Canadian Community Commemorates Remembrance Day

November 11, 2017. OTTAWA. On November 11, 1918, at 11 am, the guns of Europe fell silent and peace returned to the continent after four years of war. Each year on this date, Canadians gather from coast to coast to honour the brave men and women who fought with valour in defence of liberty on so many battlefields throughout the history of our country.

Today, we pause to remember our soldiers, who have served defending our way of life and who serve today in the Canadian Armed Forces. From Passchendaele to Normandy to Korea to Afghanistan, Canadians have fought with honour and courage so that we may be free. We ask God to protect our men and women in uniform.

Those who have fallen in battle for our country and the sacred cause of peace live on in the hearts of a grateful nation. We owe them a solemn debt that can never be repaid.

This year, we mark the 100th anniversary of many significant battles of WWI, such as the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the first time the four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together as a complete formation. Captain (Retd) Andre Sochaniwsky, President of the Ukrainian War Veterans Association of Canada, stated, “Carved on the walls of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial are the names of 11,285 Canadians who died in France and whose final resting place was then unknown. More than 7,000 of these fallen heroes are buried in 30 war cemeteries within 20 km of the Vimy Memorial.”

At the Battle of Hill 70 in August 1917, some 9000 Canadians were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. “These brave Canadian soldiers cemented the professional reputation of the Canadian Army and helped forge the reputation of Canada as a nation that does not shy away from its obligations,” stated Captain (Retd) Sochaniwsky.  “Among them was Corporal Filip Konowal, a Ukrainian Canadian, who was one of six Canadians awarded the Victoria Cross at Hill 70.”

In 2014, war returned to Europe. Russia invaded Ukraine and is today waging a war of aggression in Ukraine’s east. As Ukrainian Canadians, we pay tribute to the soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, who today bravely defend their country’s freedom from a foreign aggressor. We thank the 200 Canadian soldiers training their Ukrainian allies in Operation UNIFIER.

Every day, Ukraine’s finest sons and daughters fight and die so that Ukraine may be free. Their courageous struggle is a reminder to us all that, too often, liberty must be defended. With God’s Help, they will be victorious.

Lest We Forget. Вічная Пам’ять.

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