Commemorating a Tragic Past
As the war in Ukraine continues to cast a dark shadow over the world, Calgarians gathered on Saturday to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, a man-made famine orchestrated by the Soviet Union that resulted in the deaths of millions of Ukrainians.
The Holodomor, which means “death by hunger” in Ukrainian, was a deliberate act of genocide carried out by the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin between 1932 and 1933. The famine was caused by the forced collectivization of agriculture and the confiscation of grain from Ukrainian farmers, aimed at suppressing Ukrainian nationalism and consolidating Stalin’s power.
A Shared History of Suffering
The Holodomor shares many parallels with the current conflict in Ukraine, as both are rooted in the Russian regime’s disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty and the suffering of the Ukrainian people.
“Today, we gather to remember the Holodomor, a tragedy that took the lives of millions of Ukrainians,” said Olena Skakun, a Ukrainian-Canadian who lost family members in the famine. “But we also remember that the Ukrainian people are once again facing a brutal war of aggression from Russia.”
A Call for Peace and Justice
The event in Calgary was not only a time to remember the past but also a call for peace in Ukraine and justice for the victims of the Holodomor.
“We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and urge the international community to do everything in its power to stop the war and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Skakun.
The Importance of Remembrance
Remembrance of the Holodomor is crucial not only for honoring the victims and their families but also for preventing similar tragedies from happening in the future.
“We must never forget the Holodomor, a crime against humanity,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. “We must continue to speak out against injustice and oppression, and we must work to build a world where such atrocities can never happen again.”
A Reminder of Resilience and Hope
Despite the horrors of the Holodomor, the Ukrainian people have demonstrated remarkable resilience and determination throughout their history.
“The Ukrainian people have faced immense challenges, but they have never lost hope,” said Skakun. “They are strong, resilient, and determined to build a better future for themselves and their children.”
As the war in Ukraine continues, the Holodomor serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of war and the importance of peace and justice. The Ukrainian people’s enduring spirit and unwavering determination offer a beacon of hope in the face of adversity.