Mr. Speaker, April 13 marks Katyn Memorial Day.
The Katyn massacre of 1940 was perpetrated by the murderous Soviet NKVD, on the orders of Stalin, with the intention of wiping out the best and brightest of the Polish nation.
Over 20,000 Polish officers who had been taken prisoner by the Red Army were brutally executed, most in the forests of Katyn. For decades, communist authorities denied this responsibility for their war crime until the Soviets finally admitted to it in 1990.
This memorial day was made even more painful two years ago, when, on April 10, the airplane carrying the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, and dozens of high-ranking Polish officials tragically crashed at Smolensk en route to the Katyn commemoration ceremonies.
Over the next week, Polish Canadians will gather to commemorate both tragedies. I ask all of my parliamentary colleagues to join with Polish Canadians in mourning these terrible events in history.