This was the 18th year in a row that Ukrainians-Americans and others from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and as far away as Washington, D. C. joined together in prayer, commemorating those ten million men, women and children lost in Josef Stalin’s horrifying effort to destroy a people – a nation – long proud of their rich land, which was known as the “bread basket of Europe”. The weather held down the attendance this year, which was only about one-half the normal size, but those present were sincere in their petition to God for the repose of the victims’ souls in that place where the “Light our Lord’s Countenance shines upon them” and their memory will be eternal.
The annual commemoration is hosted each year by the Eastern Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and the Stamford Eparchy of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the USA in which the city of New York is located and the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, centered in New York City. Archbishop Antony of our Church and Bishop Paul of the Stamford Eparchy are the host hierarchs. The Archbishop opened the commemoration this year declaring that “we have no right to forget those who perished senselessly” in spite of the attempts of the government of Russia today, along with those of some other nations to categorize the famine as a ‘natural phenomenon” for which the godless regime bore no responsibility.” The Archbishop continued: “We will continue to remind all mankind of the sanctity of life and the God-given rights of every individual human being. We will remind the world’s political leaders that they no longer have unlimited and unquestioned power to destroy life…in Ukraine or in any other nation of the world.”