Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Holodomor International Remembrance Flame (Montreal)

The Holodomor International Remembrance Flame is traveling around the world.
Its Canadian itinerary includes a stop in Montreal.

It was very sad and discouraging to see the few people turn out for the ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Holodomor (Great Famine 1932-1933), in Montreal. This must be the first time I really felt such discouragement and questioned the fact of who was organizing this event. Who ever was involved did a disservice to the the whole Montral Ukrainian community.
The ceremony took over 2 hours and people who were speaking (invited speakers), all kept repeating themselves. The people who were there all knew what was the story and history behind the Holodomor. The goal of such an event would be to reach out to the people who knew nothing of this tragic event and educate them on this. The saddest part was the media coverage which was not evident at the scene of the ceremony. The coverage of this event after the fact was not heard of in print media or radio and tv. :-(
There were two bright spots to this event, the young students who put on a mise a scene and explained the whole story of the Holodomeor better than any of the speakers who performed before them. Too bad more than half the people left before their presentation, something that should have been first on the menu.
Also, a bright spot in the ceremony was 87-year-old Holodomor survivor Stefan Horlatsch who travelled with the International Holodomor Remembrance Flame throughout Canada. After being received by Premiers of the western provinces and finally reaching the final destination in Ottawa in front of Prime Minister Harper and President Yushenko of Ukraine, who was out there to greet him in Montreal from an official capacity, nobody!!!! Very sad indeed........
More to follow!!!

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