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Flame blackout in west coast USA

After making its last Canadian stop in Vernon BC, the Holodomor Remembrance Flame entered the US with little media fanfare. No coverage from its first stop last Sunday in Seattle, although an editorial appeared in the Seattle Times promoting the event even if some of the information wasn’t accurate (no mention of Holodomor, stated the famine was for political purposes rather then ethnic cleansing, and the estimate of deaths off by about 5 million).

No love in San Francisco either as the San Francisco Chronicle being the second largest circulated paper on the west coast provided no coverage the next day. As the Flame rolled into Los Angeles mid-week, it was very disappointing to see no coverage in the LA Times, the largest circulated paper on the west coast. At least they printed Jonah Goldberg’s (author of the great book Liberal Facism) column defending the genocide accusation. Cyber Cossack printed a brilliant letter to the editor of the ‘Times, asking where was the media that day and breaking down the paper into what they deemed more important to cover (Britney Spears was next door applying for custody of her children).

It wasn’t until Thursday that the first press coverage began in the Mid-west. The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News reported on the Flame coming through Salt Lake City, Utah (although Deseret News re-published their article’s title downplaying ‘famine, genocide’ to the more neutral ‘tragedy’, sound familiar?).

Things are looking better for the Flame as it heads to the east coast though, there is some coverage in anticipation of the Flame in Chicago (it came this weekend), Parma, Ohio on Tuesday, Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Hartford on Saturday.

Holodomor torch burns in Red Deer

The Red Deer Advocate picked up a story on the Holodomor Remembrance Flame in Red Deer, Alberta yesterday:

“He (Stalin) didn’t want them to fight for independence,” Horlatsch said. Among the millions killed were Horlatsch’s cousins. The family of 11 all starved to death.

The Toronto man told students how officials would prevent people from getting food. “They would tear down the walls of your house or dig up your gardens looking for hidden food,” he said.

“We would get two spoonfuls of bread crumbs with water and it kept us alive,” he said. By January 1933, Horlatsch was too weak from hunger to go to school. When he returned the next year, a third of his class had died. Grade 12 student Robyn Holitski said she was not aware of the famine before Friday’s presentation. “I’m surprised more people don’t know, it sounds like something that should be part of our textbooks somewhere.”

“So many people died, we want people to know about it and recognize it,” Horlatsch said.

The tour returned to Edmonton this morning and will be in Vancouver this evening before heading to the US.