UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
St. Sophia Seminary Remembers Pearl Harbor Attack!
By Subdeacon Vasyl Pasakas
As the first rays of sun appeared through the windows of the Three Holy hierarchs Chapel of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Bound Brook, NJ, the student body prayerfully began to chant the Memorial Lytia for the repose of the souls of about 2,335 U.S. servicemen and 68 civilians, who perished 70 years ago in Pearl Harbor attack.
Following the Memorial service, His Grace Bishop Daniel addressed the seminarians of the Church’s Theological Seminary, reflecting upon the tragedy of the early December 1941 and sacrifices made by the sailors and servicemen of the US military following the moment of horrific loss of life. The remarks were delivered by the bishop at about 7:55am (Eastern Time) in order to remember the time of the tragedy at Pearl Harbor - 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time. That's the moment the attack began seven decades ago.
In his short remarks Bishop Daniel mentioned "...that there are very few left that recall Pearl Harbor from experience, but many remember it; - we all should remember it, because such shared experience will prevent future disasters. A remnant of the World War II generation is still with us. They remain as active members of civil society and we must not forget them. We can serve them if they are disabled; bear the burdens they can no longer stand…Much that should not be forgotten will be remembered if today we remember the day of December 7, 1941 – the day of Pearl Harbor."
The bishop also reflected upon the meaning of the solemn Oath of Office that the servicemen of the US military take upon themselves as they commit themselves to protecting the very basic principles of life and freedom that the nation of the United States of America cherishes. The same oath of office that His Grace took, when he was commissioned a chaplain in the US Army Chaplain Corps some 9 years ago: “I . . . solemnly swear or affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God.”
In conclusion, His Grace Bishop Daniel stated that "rather than excluding God from our society and our individual lives, we must give thanks to God for His protection and presence in the lives of so many servicemen that have served the nation and continue to dedicate their lives in the service of others."