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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » July 4, 2014
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Canadian Tribute to Victims of Communism
July 4, 2014   
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As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations commemorating the end of communism in Poland, the Canadian ambassador to Poland, Alexandra Bugailiskis, May 22 held a reception to introduce the Tribute to Liberty project.

The project involves the construction of a Memorial to the Victims of Communism in the Canadian capital, Ottawa. The memorial, which will cost 4 million Canadian dollars, is expected to be completed in 2015 and will be located near the parliament buildings in Ottawa.

Bugailiskis said, “Canada is very proud to have served as a place of refuge and a new home for millions seeking freedom from oppression. This includes tens of thousands of Poles who were unable to return to Poland after World War II. The Tribute to Liberty will commemorate their stories of courage and suffering and the unvanquished thirst for freedom. It is quite fitting that Canada will launch its Tribute to Freedom” as Poland marks its 25 years of freedom, she added.

Jacek Michałowski, Polish President Bronisław Komorowski’s chief of staff, and Anna Fotyga, on behalf of Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of Poland’s opposition Law and Justice Party, accepted letters of thanks from Bugailiskis for supporting the project. They also received a Royal Canadian Mint coin featuring an image of the late Polish-born Pope John Paul II.

Ludwik Klimkowski, the chairman of the Tribute to Liberty Committee, delivered a presentation about the new memorial. He said that the Memorial to the Victims of Communism will be a tribute to the millions of Canadians and their families who suffered as a result of communism.

“Ninety-five thousand Poles came to Canada following the crushing of the Solidarity movement against communism in Poland,” Klimkowski said.

“In Canada, over eight million people trace their roots to countries that suffered under communism. Since the beginning of the first communist regime in 1917, immigrants from communist countries have flocked to Canada.”

Klimkowski added that he was grateful to the Polish authorities for supporting and encouraging the memorial project since it started in 2008.

Jolanta Wolska
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