On August 23, 2015 Vancouver’s Ukrainian, Polish, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian communities gathered to remember the victims of Nazism and Communism in Eastern Europe. This event became a tradition in Canada and is called Black Ribbon Day (BRD).
This year commemoration was hosted by Ukrainian community at Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in New Westminster, BC. It draw special attention of the public in light of gruesome war conflict in Eastern Ukraine, which again became the battlefield for the Putin’s Russia totalitarian regime.
Honorary consuls and dignitaries represented Eastern European communities
Here’s some comments by one of the event organizers Myroslav Petriw (Ukrainian Canadian Congress):
“We are learning. We are learning that the Evil Empire’s appetite extends beyond Ukraine. We note that in a recent war games exercise the Russians play acted dropping a nuclear warhead on Warsaw. We know that less than two weeks after we commemorated Black Ribbon Day in 2014, Russian agents kidnapped an Estonian officer of the KPol from across the border. Eston Kohver sits in Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison to this day. Russian bombers are probing the airspace over Eastern Europe every week.
But Putin is also laying claim to Canada’s arctic. Maybe we have learned, but has Canada learned? A North Vancouver Company, Nuytco Research is selling Russia the kind of manned deep sea robots that Putin needs to explore and lay claim to what he calls the “Central Arctic”. We are selling the rope with which he will hang us. So even if all of us can nod our heads and claim to have learned the lesson of history, most Canadians have not. And those that have not learned the lesson of history are condemned to repeat it.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper also issued official statement to mark Black Ribbon Day, the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe:
“On this day in 1939, Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union signed the notorious non-aggression Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which ultimately led to the Second World War. These tyrannical regimes occupied most of Central and Eastern Europe, ultimately causing incalculable destruction and senseless suffering, and brutally murdering millions of innocent men, women and children.
“Today, all Canadians join me in paying tribute to the memory of the tens of millions of European victims of Communist and Nazi tyranny, and honouring the brave men and women who stood up to these evil regimes to defend their values, beliefs and faiths.
“Regrettably, too many men, women and children continue to face brutality and repression around the world today. Canadians have seen savagery persist in the world today, as we witness the unspeakable barbarism of ISIS onto innocent religious and ethnic minorities. In the face of a threat to our own security and human dignity around the world, we will not sit on the sidelines. We will decisively confront ISIS, a genocidal terrorist cult, that is summarily executing innocent women, children and minorities. I am proud of the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces who are acting to protect the millions of innocent people who face ISIS brutality. Moreover, since the start of the Putin regime’s aggression in Eastern Europe our Conservative government has stood firmly with Ukraine, Poland and our Baltic friends against Putin’s militarism, and remain committed, together with our NATO allies, to building regional stability and security in the region.
“I am proud to say that our Conservative government also remains committed to the construction of a National Memorial to Victims of Communism and a National Holocaust Monument, memorials dedicated to honouring and preserving the legacy of the millions of men, women and children who struggled against these sinister regimes.
“In 2009, Parliament declared Black Ribbon Day a national day of remembrance and so I encourage all Canadians to take part in one of the many Black Ribbon Day commemorative ceremonies taking place across the country. I also encourage Canadians to continue to protect and promote Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law to prevent such historical evils from ever taking hold again.”