TORONTO, ONTARIO – The Central and Eastern European Council of Canada,
representing nearly 4 million Canadians of European heritage, have announced plans to commemorate National Black Ribbon Day on August 23rd, 2013 in cities across Canada.
Black Ribbon Day is also commemorated in cities in Europe and The United States. Evening ecumenical services are planned in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, St.Catherines/Welland, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal. In each city, all communities will be invited to a central place of worship or civic centre to commemorate Black Ribbon Day. The Toronto Black Ribbon Day memorial service will be held at the Lithuanian Church of the Resurrection. Details regarding services in other locations will be released in the coming weeks.
In November 2009, a resolution declaring Black Ribbon Day, August 23, an annual, Canadian day of remembrance for the victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe was was unanimously passed by Canada’s Parliament.
Black Ribbon Day historically commemorates the anniversary of the infamous Molotov- Ribbentrop pact, a sinister partnership treaty between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia that allowed each to violently and illegally seize the lands and peoples situated between them. Twenty Five years ago, Canada’s Central and Eastern European communities, by initiating Black Ribbon Day, were instrumental in bringing international attention and understanding of the plight of their heritage nations. This Canadian initiative organized demonstrations in 21 cities on both sides of the Iron Curtain. In 1989 close to 2 million
people formed a human chain across the Baltic republics and by 1991, demonstrations were held in 56 cities on three continents.
Presently, August 23rd is officially commemorated in close to a dozen European nations as Black Ribbon Day and European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.
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