On Wednesday, November 11, 2020 numerous Ukrainian-American Veterans, who served in our nation’s Armed Forces from World War II, the Korean war, the Vietnam War, the War in Iraq and that in Afghanistan, among other conflicts, were joined by Ukrainian Orthodox Church members and other visitors at the National Ukrainian-American Veterans Memorial Metropolia Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in South Bound Brook, NJ. His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Archbishop Daniel led a Prayer Service at the monument for the wellbeing all veterans of the USA Armed forces, especially those of Ukrainian descent.
In his opening remarks, prior to the beginning of the Prayer service, Archbishop Daniel stated: “Today - November 11, 2020 is Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice (Truce) Day. The Armistice to end World War I, known at that time as the war to end all wars, was signed by and between the Germans and the Allies at 5 am on the morning on November 11th, 1918 – exactly 102 years ago. The peace became effective at the 11th minute, after the 11 hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month. Today, we gathered here at the 11th minute, after the 11 hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month to honor the men and women of our Great Nation that have offered their lives in the service of our nation.”
Following the Moleben Service for all veterans, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony greeted all the veterans present representing Ukrainian American veterans and all who have served in our nation’s Armed Forces – both living and deceased – on this day that honors them all. “We truly appreciate your service, brothers and sisters, your willingness to stand up for freedom, putting your lives at risk for your fellow citizens and yes, for all of us gathered here decades away from the time that most of you served. Your sacrifice, your service, has had consequences and those consequences still affect the lives of generations. All of us here present express our gratitude to you. Your children and grandchildren know what true freedom is because of you. Believe me…all the world and the citizens of our United States of America see you as nothing less than HEROES! We pray that you will always be willing to share the stories of your service with the younger generations, because they NEED to comprehend the whole concept of dedicated service to one’s nation and her people. May God bless you all with the best of health and the certainty of knowledge that you are truly appreciated, always.”
The clergy of local Ukrainian Orthodox parishes: Very Rev. Fr. Yuriy Siwko, pastor of St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church in South Bound Brook, NJ; Very Rev. Fr. Volodymyr Muzychka, pastor of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in New York, NY; Very Rev. Fr. Petro Levko of St. George Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Yardville, NJ; Very Rev. Fr. Vitaliy Pavlykivskyy of All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Parish in New York, NY; Rev. Fr. Vasyl Pasakas of the Nativity of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox parish in South Plainfield, NJ; Rev. Fr. Vasyl Shak of St. Panteleimon Ukrainian Orthodox Parish in Brooklyn, NY; Rev. Fr. James Cairns of St. Demetrios Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Carteret, NJ and Rev. Fr. Sviatoslav Hot of Holy Ascension Ukrainian Orthodox Parish in Maplewood, NJ assisted the hierarchs in the celebration of the Moleben Service.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Michael Hrucak, NJ Ukrainian American Veterans Commander expressed his gratitude to those in attendance and the honor that community bestowed upon the veterans in attendance and all other living and deceased veterans. He expressed his gratitude that this National Monument stands on the grounds of St. Andrew Memorial Church, on a plot of land provided by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. Col. Hrucak stated that “the ‘freedom’ mentioned by the Metropolitan was never ‘free’. Millions of men and women sacrificed years of their lives, bravely protecting ‘freedom’ for the society that we know and love here in the USA and the world.” He urged all present to never forget those who served and those who still serve. The Ukrainian American Veterans organization is proud to make know to the world that over 200,000 men and women of Ukrainian descent have served in the USA Armed Forces throughout our nation’s history and we will always come to this monument, which exhibits the six major branches of the Armed Forces, to commemorate them on Veterans Day – November 11 and Memorial Day in May of every year.