Manitoba commemorates Holodomor with Ukrainian community

A light must be shined on this dark chapter in history to ensure similar atrocities are never repeated

Manitobans are encouraged to take a moment this Saturday, Nov. 23, to remember the Holodomor, an artificial famine genocide in Ukraine in 1932 to 1933 that claimed the lives of millions of people, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox announced on Nov. 21.

“Year after year, we need to take time to reflect on the horrific suffering inflicted upon the Ukrainian people,” Cox said. “While the act of remembering may stir painful memories, we must shine a light on this dark chapter in history to ensure atrocities like this are never repeated.”

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Manitoba pays tribute to the memory of the event by dedicating the fourth Saturday of November as Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day. On behalf of the Manitoba government, the minister will host a community gathering today at the Legislative Building. In question period, the minister planned to request a moment of silence, and stalks of wheat, tied with a black ribbon be placed on the desk of every member of the legislative assembly.

“I am humbled and honoured to join members of the Ukrainian community to mark this day with a commemoration, including a special performance by students from the English-Ukrainian bilingual program at R.F. Morrison Elementary School, as well as a gathering at the Bitter Memories of Childhood monument on the Legislative Building grounds,” added Cox.

The monument depicts a starving girl holding five stalks of wheat, symbolizing the Soviet law that imposed death on anyone caught picking grain from collective farm fields. This law led to mass arrests and executions as hungry Ukrainians searched for food.

 “It is important that we continue to remind Canadians of this atrocity, because for so many years the truth was suppressed and even denied,” said Joan Lewandosky, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Manitoba Provincial Council. “We owe it to the families of the millions who were senselessly starved to death in Ukraine to continue to speak out about this genocide. Once again, we thank the Manitoba government for its efforts in raising public awareness of the Holodomor.”

In recognition of Holodomor Memorial Day, the Ukrainian flag will fly at half-mast in Memorial Park today from sunrise to sunset.

In addition to today’s commemoration at the Legislative Building, the province invites visitors to view the Centenary Tribute to Ukraine display called ‘The Fight for Freedom of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic’. The exhibition is located in the Keystone Gallery and features rare and restored photographs from the Bobersky Collection, taken between 1914 and 1920 in western Ukraine. The collection will be on display until Jan. 3, 2020.

 

 

© Virden Empire-Advance

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