]Canada inaugurated a national Holocaust memorial in Ottawa as its government reportedly readied itself to formally apologize for turning away 900 European Jews from its shores on the eve of the Holocaust.
The National Holocaust Monument – a stark, stylized Star of David in form — took a decade to complete, at a cost of $7.2 million split between private and public donors.
“May this monument remind us to always open our arms and our hearts to those in need,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the opening of the memorial on Wednesday.
The unveiling of the memorial — located across from the Canadian War Museum — was seen as historic. Canada was the sole allied nation not to have a national Holocaust memorial.
In addition, the project might not have happened at all if not for the efforts of an Ottawa university student who in 2007 noted the lack of a national Holocaust memorial and worked toward legislation that made the monument possible.
According to news reports, some survivors were disappointed that at the monument’s official launch Trudeau did not deliver a hoped-for formal apology for Canada turning away the MS St. Louis in 1939.