Memorial Day Observed at the Metropolia Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
With the chiming of church bells of St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church in South Bound Brook, NJ began this year’s prayerful observance of Memorial Day at the spiritual center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA on May 28, 2018.
Several priests from the area, parishioners of various Orthodox and Catholic communities of the immediate Somerset County/Franklin Township area, along with numerous veterans of the US armed forces gathered around the newly blessed and dedicated memorial to the fallen heroes – Ukrainian-American Veterans Monument in order to offer prayers for those that sacrificed their lives in the service of our nation.
His Eminence Metropolitan Antony led the Memorial service, while the faithful in attendance chanted prayerful responses.
“Memorial Day is a time to remember those who kept the faith and died in service to our country...It is our duty as Americans to praise their sacrifice, to bless their memories, to pray for their eternal repose, and to thank God for the freedom they preserve for us.” - Metropolitan Antony stated in his remarks following the conclusion of the Memorial Panakhyda.
The origins of Memorial Day date back to the Civil War when many cities and towns would set aside a day to remember those who died in the war. Originally called Decoration Day, it was officially proclaimed by General John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, on May 5, 1868, and was first observed on May 30 of that year when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. It 1971, Congress passed a law placing the celebration of Memorial Day on the last Monday in May.