“Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation” Since 2015 Ukraine designated May 8 as a day of remembrance and reconciliation. The Embassy of Ukraine in Pretoria, South Africa organized an event to honor the victims of World War II, at the Freedom Park in Pretoria.
The Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War (May 8th) is an annual international day of remembrance designated by Resolution 59/26 of the United Nations General Assembly on November 22, 2004. The resolution urges ‘Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and individuals’ to pay tribute to the victims of World War II.
May 8, is the anniversary of the date when the World War II Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. World War II began in 1939 and ended in 1945. Nearly all nations at the time were divided into two warring factions, the Allies and the Axis. Allies included United Kingdom, U.S.S.R, the United States and others. The Axis included several nations including Germany, Italy, and Japan. It was fought in Europe, in Russia, North Africa and in Asia.
Honoring the victims of World War II, in her remarks the Ambassador of Ukraine Ms. Liubov Abravitova said “Ukraine joins the international community in solemn commemoration for the millions of victims, the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for a free world. In Ukraine alone, over 8 million lives were lost, over 2 million people were forcibly deported.
Today we pay tribute to millions of Ukrainian men and women who bravely fought in the World War II, among them over 250 000 Ukrainians who served in Polish, French, British, US and Canadian armed forces. We owe them an eternal debt that can never be repaid. A minute of silence was observed.
The event was attended by their Excellencies Ambassador and High Commissioners, of the Embassies of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Japan, the United States, Canada, together with the Defence and Military Attaches of the Embassies as well as representatives of the South African National Defence Forces and veterans’ organizations.
After the speeches of the CEO of the Freedom Park Museum Ms. Jane Mufamadi, the Ambassador of Ukraine Ms. Liubov Abravitova, Ambassador of Germany Dr. Martin Schafer, Ambassador of Georgia Mr. Beka Dvali, Ambassador of Japan Mr. Norio Maruyama and the Representative of SANDF, Brigadier General T.P. Motaung, wreaths were laid.
The Ukraine Embassy thanked the Freedom Park and all the guests for attending the event.
By: The Diplomatic Informer Magazine SA
Images: Calvin Modirapula