John Tefft, the United States ambassador to Russia since July 2014, has confirmed his presence to the May 9 Victory Day parade in Moscow.
Although US President Barrack Obama will not be present due to the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the US State Department acknowledge the huge sacrifices of the Russian population during World War II.
The Soviet Union suffered more than 24,000,000 deaths, including civilians, during World War 2. The Battle of Stalingrad claimed more than 1,2 million casualties alone.
This year’s Victory Day parade marks the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory against Nazi Germany in which the Soviet Union played a major part. American and Soviet soldiers met near Torgau, Germany on April 25 1045. This historic meeting between East and West marked the successful campaign of the Allies against Nazi Germany.
Where is Canada?
Canada is not sending anyone to take part in the Russian Victory Day parade. Yet, it is a role the Canadian ambassador could fill like the US ambassador is doing.
I understand the turmoil around Ukraine and the fact the Canada has announced they will send 200 military advisors to train Ukrainian soldiers.
However, more than 550,000 Russian Canadians are living in Canada. Having a Canadian presence at the Russian Victory Day parade would prove Canada’s recognition of the sacrifice Russians did for the liberation of Europe.
The presence of the Canadian ambassador to the Victory Day parade would most likely be welcomed by the Russian Canadians and would also prove Canada can understand that history is as important as ongoing conflicts.
Although the current political atmosphere is not at its best, due to the conflict in Ukraine, I do believe that every nations that participated in the liberation of Europe should come together and remember the huge sacrifice by the man and woman who valiantly fought for freedom.
It is very important to remember the sacrifices made in a time when both the West and the East were allies to defeat a common enemy: Nazi Germany.
Nations such as the United Stated of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and the Russian Federation should set aside its disagreements and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory in Europe (VE) day.
Many will argue that Russia has invited leaders such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Cuban President Raul Castro thus making it hard for Western leaders to attend the May 9 Victory Day parade. I think every country in the world should set aside their difference on such an important day and joins to remember and celebrate this historical day.