UCC Toronto and UWVA mark Remembrance day in Toronto

Members of the Ukrainian War Veterans Association of Canada prepare to lay a wreath at the Ukrainian Canadian War Memorial in Toronto on 9 November 2019. Front row L-R: Sgt Adam Winnicki CD, LCol (Retd) Zenon Myshkevich CD and Yurko (George) Serhijczuk. Photos: M. Swarnyk

New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

On November 9, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Toronto Branch and Ukrainian War Veterans Association of Canada hosted a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Canadian Ukrainian Memorial Park in Etobicoke. The President of the UWVA, Capt (Retd) Andre Sochaniwsky CD, welcomed the guests:

“Дорогі отці, dear elected officials and government representatives, dear military members, dear youth from our various Ukrainian organizations such as Пласт, СУМ, МУНО and Cadet organizations, dear guests.

Дорогі почесні ветерани / Dear honoured veterans:

Welcome to our Annual Remembrance Ceremony organized by the Toronto Branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Ukrainian War Veterans Association of Canada.

My name is Andre Sochaniwsky.

I am a member of the UCC Remembrance Committee, a former aviator in the Royal Canadian Air Force and президент “Української стрілецької громади в Канаді”.

This year, we mark the 105th anniversary of the start of WWI – “the war to end all wars”, where over 625,000 Canadians served and 61,000 were killed.

In 2019, we honour the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Assault, which saw the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy, France. This was the largest amphibious military operation in history and the start of the end of Germany’s totalitarian occupation of Western Europe.

У другій світовій війні більше 1 мільйона канадців служили у збройних силах Канади, більше 45 тисяч загинуло і 55 тисяч були поранені.

У військах Канади служило більше ніж 35,000 українських канадців. Кожен 10-й канадський українець воював за Канаду. Наступного року вийде документальний фільм про ці величезні внески, який називається “A Canadian War Story.”

Seventy-five years ago, on the European Eastern Front, Lviv was retaken by the 1st Ukrainian Front of the Soviet Army and Ukrainian hopes of independence were squashed amidst the overwhelming force of the Soviets.

Українська Повстанська Армія (УПА) боролася за українську незалежність. У нас тут сьогодні є ветерани УПА та Першої Дивізії Української Національної Армії.

By the end of the Second World War, 19% of Ukraine’s population, approximately 8 million people were killed. Ukraine suffered more death and carnage in World War II than any other European country.

This year, we also acknowledge the 5-year anniversary of the continued illegal Russian annexation of Crimea, Russian occupation of Donbas and the brutal killing of the Heavenly Hundred.

П’ять років тому світ був свідком вбивства Небесної Сотні в Україні. Це були громадяни, які добровільно захищали демократію, людські права і свободи та бажали кращого майбутнього і долі для свого народу.

Over the past 5 years, we have watched the death toll rise in Ukraine with well over 4,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed, and over 3,000 civilians killed. And over 200 Ukrainians are still held captive in the occupied territories in eastern Ukraine, in addition to the unlawful arrest and detention of Crimean Tatars. We honour these prisoners with our POW flag. Prisoners of War – Never Forgotten. Військовополонені – не забуті.

Attending this ceremony are Ukrainian combat veterans and current military members, including Colonel Viktor Siromakha, Defence Attaché of Ukraine, who is joining us from Ottawa. We also have with us Nolan Peterson, a US Air Force combat veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Since 2014, Mr. Peterson has been reporting from the frontlines of Donbas and was the first American journalist to be embedded with Ukraine’s regular forces in combat. He has seen first hand the destructive forces of war in Ukraine.

Today, Canadian Armed Forces have deployed personnel in Central and Eastern Europe as part of NATO assurance measures and other parts of the world. Canadian Army soldiers are in Latvia, leading a NATO Battle Group. Royal Canadian Navy ships as part of NATO, are sailing and patrolling in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Royal Canadian Air Force fighter jets are in Romania, patrolling the skies of central Europe. And Since 2015, Canadian troops have been deployed to Ukraine under Operation UNIFIER to mentor Ukrainian forces.

We are immensely grateful to these troops for maintaining stability in an unstable world and we recognize and thank members of the Canadian Armed Forces that are here with us today.

Внески і жертви вcіх наших військовиків були і є значні.

We as beneficiaries of freedom and democracy in this country, cannot and should not forget their sacrifices. Let our presence here today and every year be our eternal commitment to our fallen.

Ми пам’ятаємо. Ми їх шануємо. We remember and honour them.”

President of the UWVA, Capt (Retd) Andre Sochaniwsky CD

Speaker’s Bio
Capt (Retd) Andre Sochaniwsky CD is the President of the Ukrainian War Veterans Association of Canada. From 1984 to 1997, he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as an Air Combat Systems Officer. He is a member of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Toronto Remembrance Committee.

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