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Canadian Victoria Cross Winner Honoured in France

For Immediate Release (Toronto, 22 August 2005)


Today, in Lens, France, Filip Konowal, the only Ukrainian Canadian ever to have been presented with the highest military medal awarded by the British Empire, the Victoria Cross, was remembered near the battlefield where his valour in August 1917 earned him that distinction. Today, in Lens, France, Filip Konowal, the only Ukrainian Canadian ever to have been presented with the highest military medal awarded by the British Empire, the Victoria Cross, was remembered near the battlefield where his valour in August 1917 earned him that distinction


Organized by Toronto's Branch #360 of The Royal Canadian Legion, in collaboration with the City of Lens, the Royal Westminster Regiment Association and the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, a trilingual bronze plaque was unveiled today in the presence of a large audience, including dignitaries representing the governments of Ukraine, France, Great Britain and Canada.


Speaking on behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian community, Dr Lubomyr Luciuk, UCCLA's director of research, said:


"Konowal's valour has now been marked, not only with plaques across Canada and in his home village of Kutkivchi, Ukraine, but here, near Hill 70, where he demonstrated his willingness to fight for the freedom of the country where Liberty, Fraternity and Equality were proclaimed as the ideals for which all good men and women must struggle. On behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian community, and our supporters here in France, Canada, Ukraine and Great Britain, we thank everyone who helped make today's act of recognition possible. By doing so we hallow not only Filip Konowal's memory but also the thousands of other Canadian soldiers who came here more than 90 years ago, many of whom now rest in French soil, having paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War For Civilization."

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