On a rainy Tuesday afternoon, November 7, 2017 several dozens of Ukrainian-Americans gathered in the nation’s capitol for the Memorial service (Panakhyda) at the National HOLODOMOR Memorial in Washington, DC.
As rain intensified, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Bishop John Bura of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, assisted by the Orthodox and Catholic clergy led the Requiem service. As seminarians of both Catholic and Orthodox seminaries chanted the prayerful MEMORY ETERNAL, Archbishop Daniel censed the Monument-Memorial erected in memory of 10 million Ukrainians that starved to death during the cruel regime of Stalin’s Soviet Union in 1932-1933.
Opening the short Memorial program, Mr. Michael Sawkiv of the Ukrainian Informational Bureau (Ukrainian Congress Committee of America) welcomed numerous dignitaries and diplomatic representatives that on a rainy day still joined the group of Ukrainian-Americans at their monument to honor the memory of the lost. Ambassador of Ukraine Valeriy Chaly spoke in English and Ukrainian languages calling to memory the lives of millions of innocent people. Former President of Lithuania Vytautas Landsbergis also joined the Ukrainian community in their commemorative events with offering sincere and strong message not only to the Ukrainian-American community about the need to remember the tragic events of 1930s but also to the modern political powers that often forget about the dignity of human life.
In the early evening hours of November 7th, US Congress opened its doors to the community of Ukrainians of American background to participate in the formal Ukrainian Genocide briefing. The US Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Committee Awareness and the Embassy of Ukraine in the USA organized and coordinated the event, which was opened with a prayer led by the hierarchs of both Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Archbishop Daniel and Bishop John Bura offered prayers in both Ukrainian and English languages, honoring the memory of millions of men, women and children that in the cold autumn and winter days of 1932-1933 died due to starvation, perpetrated by the cruelty of those that considered themselves superior to others – Stalin and his Soviet regime.
Among the presenters were the US Rep. Bill Pascrell (D_OH), Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), US Rep Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Rep Marcy Kaptur (D-OH); Former President of Lithuania - Vytautas Landsbergis and others and the Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States of America Valeriy Chaly, who on behalf of the Ukrainian embassy bestowed the Certificates of Honor to the US Representatives and community leaders present at the event.