Central and Eastern European Communities to mark Black Ribbon Day

Black RIbbon Day

Winnipeg, Canada- On August 23, 2010, Canadians will mark Black Ribbon Day – a national day of remembrance for the victims of European Communism and Nazism. Black Ribbon Day was declared a national day of commemoration by Canada’s Parliament last fall. This annual day of remembrance marks the anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between the Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes.

This declaration was proposed by MP Bob Rae and MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj and was unanimously adopted by the House of Commons on November 30, 2009. It was endorsed by leaders of affected communities in Canada, including Milo Suchma (President, Czech and Slovak Association of Canada), Agnes Somorjai, (President, Canadian Hungarian Heritage Association), Avo Kittask, (President, Estonian Central Council), Andris Kesteris (President, Latvian National Federation), Joana Kuras (President, Lithuanian Canadian Community), Wladyslaw Lizon (President, Canadian Polish Congress), Paul Grod (President, Ukrainian Canadian Congress) Helen Bucic (President, Slovak Canadian Association).

“This Day of Remembrance on August 23rd called Black Ribbon Day will show Canadians and those around the world that Canada will not stand for crimes against humanity,” stated Paul Grod National President Ukrainian Canadian Congress. “We as Ukrainian Canadians who were directly victimized by genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Soviets and Nazis against our people must stand against systematic and ruthless abuse around the world.”

Memorial Day Commemoration
On August 23, 2010, the first official Canadian memorial day known as Black Ribbon Day, community churches in cities across Canada are opening their doors in the evening of Monday August 23, 2010 for people to commemorate the victims of Europe’s totalitarian regimes.

Black Ribbon Day Conference
Coinciding with the Church memorials is a conference co-sponsored by the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre, the Central and Eastern European Council and the Black Ribbon Day Foundation. The conference has attracted leading historians and political scientists to discuss the theme, “History, Memory and Politics in Central and Eastern Europe”.

For more information please contact:

UCC Media Contact
Darla Penner
Tel. (204) 942-4627

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