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Last Sunday, numerous Albertans have gathered at the rotunda of the Alberta Legislature to celebrate Black Ribbon Day. Black Ribbon Day was established in order to remember the numerous victims of the Nazi regime, Nazism itself, and communism. This event has also been associated by many others with the tyranny happening in today’s modern times.
Sunday specifically marked the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact or the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The pact was named after the Soviet foreign minister, Vyacheslav Molotov, and the German foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop.
The pact specifically entails how there should be no belligerence between the two parties as well as never having to ally with the enemy of each party. During this treaty, about two million people, which can be estimated as the total population of Edmonton and Calgary combined, were sent to Siberia. Unfortunately, out of these two million people, only 505,000 people returned.
According to the deputy chair of committees, Richard Feehan, the world should not repeat the inhumane acts that were committed before. He also said that the survivors of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact are a proof that the human spirit always goes beyond evil.
David Shepherd of the Edmonton-Centre had also remarked on how there is still hope for people to achieve a future that is free from violence as long as there are people who are willing to stand up to and fight against the crimes against humanity.
People believe that the Black Ribbon Day will send a message on how human rights should be valued. Currently, similar crimes are still present today. There is cruelty, torture, imprisonment, violence, deprivation and death and the people who had launched Black Ribbon Day feels that they it is their obligation to remember the suffering of the victims of tyrannical regimes. To this day, the struggle is not yet over as many people are still victims, becoming victims of oppression.
One of the event’s organizers used the situation in Ukraine as an example. This only goes to show how history keeps repeating itself over and over again.