UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
HOLODOMOR MEMORIAL SITE APPROVED IN WASHINGTON, DC
The National Committee to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Genocide of 1932-1933 is pleased to announce the selection of a site for a U.S. memorial to the 10 million victims of the 1932-1933 Ukrainian Genocide “Holodomor”. The memorial will be located in Washington, DC at the intersection of North Capitol Street, Massachusetts Avenue, and F Street, NW, five blocks north of the U.S. Capitol Building.
On October 13, 2006, President Bush signed into law the authorization for a Holodomor memorial in Washington, DC. Ever since then, the National Committee, in conjunction with the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, DC, has worked diligently to choose a suitable site in the heart of our nation’s capital for this solemn memorial. Over the past two years, the National Committee and the Embassy of Ukraine have been in constant negotiation with the U.S. National Park Service and numerous other federal and local agencies to select a prominent site on public land on which to forever memorialize this often ignored crime against humanity.
Several public hearings before the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission--comprised of the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), the Historical Preservation Society, the Commission on Fine Arts, the Architect of the Capitol, the DC Planning Commission, and others--examined in detail the suitability of 24 candidate sites throughout the city. These hearings necessitated the hiring by the National Committee of a private firm to prepare various presentations and a comprehensive environmental impact assessment of the candidate sites at a cost of nearly $100,000.
At a hearing of the NCPC on Thursday, October 2nd, a brisk discussion ensued regarding the placement of the Ukrainian Genocide Memorial. Though two sites were considered, the Massachusetts Avenue site was judged to be an ideal location for the Holodomor memorial. The site is prominently located not far from Washington’s Union Station, and is within walking distance of the U.S. Capitol building, the Supreme Court, and the National Mall. The location is highly visible both to tourists and to everyday Washingtonians and offers ample space for construction of a memorial in a dignified setting.
The news of the selection of the Ukrainian Genocide Memorial site came one week after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved H.Res. 1314, a resolution recognizing the 75th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine (Holodomor). The resolution condemned “the violations of human rights, including the freedom of self-determination and freedom of speech, of the Ukrainian people by the Soviet Government.” The sponsor of the resolution, as well as the sponsor of the Ukrainian Genocide Memorial, was Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), co-chair of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus. In praising Rep. Levin’s tremendous efforts in support of Ukrainian American concerns, Michael Sawkiw, Jr., President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America stated: “To say that Rep. Levin is a friend of Ukraine is an understatement! Where would we be today without his vigilant support and sponsorship of so many important issues, in particular the new site appropriated for the Ukrainian Genocide Memorial? Thanks to Rep. Levin’s foresight and assistance, the entire Ukrainian American community is ecstatic.”
While the Government of Ukraine will fund the eventual construction of the Holodomor memorial, the National Committee bore the brunt of the costs for the environment assessment and other preparatory tasks. The generosity of the National Committee’s member organizations and others in the Ukrainian American community provided the initial funds. An additional $45,000 is needed to satisfy the National Commmittee’s obligations to the firm which produced the final documents required by the various government agencies in order to secure the Massachusetts Avenue site.
Much has been accomplished, but much more needs to be done. Recent current events--from the genocide in Darfur to the brutal threats faced by fledgling democratic states like Georgia and Ukraine against their liberty and continued independence--underscore the importance of this memorial at this time and especially in Washington, DC. The Holodomor memorial will remind our government, the American people, and the world that history can and will repeat itself unless we remember the horrors of the past and pledge our energies to fight genocide and tyranny wherever we find it. The newly-elected President of the Ukrainian World Congress wrote: “Sincere congratulations on behalf of the Ukrainian World Congress for this breaking news regarding the approval of the Holodomor Memorial Site in a key location in Washington, D.C. This will undoubtedly help to further sensitize Americans about the genocide against the Ukrainian people in 1932-33.”
The National Committee and the Embassy of Ukraine are grateful for the continued support of the Ukrainian American community. On behalf of the Government of Ukraine, its ambassador to the United States, Oleh Shamshur, spoke of the tremendous efforts exhibited by the Ukrainian American community: “We are pleased with the final result of the NCPC hearing and look forward to our continued cooperation with the community to achieve a memorial that honors the 10 million victims of Ukraine’s genocide of 1932-1933.”
The National Committee appeals to the Ukrainian community for donations to help fulfill our dream of erecting a memorial in our nation’s capital to the 10 million innocent victims of the Ukrainian Genocide. Proceeds from the sale of the “Voices for Victims” wristbands--as worn by Ukrainian President Yushchenko--and the “Walk against Genocide” t-shirts all go towards the construction of the Ukrainian Genocide Memorial in Washington, DC. In addition, tax-deductible donations can be made on-line at the National Committee’s website http://www.ukrainiangenocide.org. Please visit this website for updated information, and remember to support the activities of the National Committee to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Genocide of 1932-1933. With your continued help, we can see this important project through to completion.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is represented on this Committee by Rev. Fr. George Bazylevsky and Daria Pyshko-Komichak.
**NOTE* Attached pictures produced by EDAW, Environmental Assessment Agency