UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
ANNUAL HOLODOMOR COMMEMORATION AT ST. PATRICK CATHEDRAL
The 2012 Annual National Holodomor Commemoration took place on the eve of the 80th anniversary of this human tragedy at St. Patrick Cathedral, New York City on 17 November 2012 with 4,000 people participating. The day began in Ukrainian Village on the lower southeast Manhattan as 600 people – mostly young – stepped off in an awareness march from 7thStreet and Third Avenue and walked about 3.5 miles to 51stStreet and Fifth Avenue to St. Patrick Cathedral. The procession up Third Avenue was 2-3 blocks long and there were an abundance of placards describing what the march was all about and young Ukrainian students walking along the sidewalks passing out pamphlets explaining to those who observed the march that the Holodomor was an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation and her people. It was perpetrated by the sick mind of Josef Stalin and his henchmen in the fall of 1932 and the spring of 1933 and murdered seven to ten million innocent people – solely because Stalin though he was losing his grip on Ukraine and he needed to bring the nation back into line with the Soviet mindset. This march takes place on every fifth anniversary of the Holodomor and was led this year by His Eminence Metropolitan Antony of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church and His Grace Bishop Paul of the Stamford Eparchy of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
The climax of the march was the Memorial Service conducted in St. Patrick Cathedral with the participation of the above mentioned hierarchs together with Metropolitan Stephan and retired Bishop Losten of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and clergy from both churches. Bishop Paul opened the program this year calling the thousands gathered to join in prayer for those who perished in the inhuman genocide – many of them who never had a grave or a proper burial and because entire families perished – had on one else to pray for them but those gathered in the Cathedral 80 years later. The Dumka Ukrainian Choir sang the responses for the memorial service as it has for many years. Immediately preceding the Memorial Service, survivors of the Holodomor – just three of them, all from Holy Trinity Cathedral on Broome Street in NYC – Alexander and Nadia Savaryn and Tamara Sidorak, approached a table before the altar to place candles and Ukrainian children followed with blades of wheat, candles, wreaths and flowers to place at the table – all in memory of the victims of the Holodomor.
Speaking following the memorial service were President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, which along with the National Holodomor Committee and the Churches organizes the event each year, Tamara Oleksiy. She introduced Senator Charles Shumer who represents the state of New York in the US Senate. The Senator is a regular participant in this commemoration for at least the last ten years and always makes an emotional and stirring condemnation of the genocide and those responsible for it, but calls not only Ukrainians but people of all ethnic backgrounds to join in remembering the victims and aiding in stopping the acts of genocide that still occur in other countries around the world today.
Ambassador of Ukraine to the USA, His Excellence Alexander Motsyk spoke about the horror of the genocidal Holodomor and informed that the national Holodomor Memorial has received final approval from all branches and committees of the US government and will be finance by the government of Ukraine. It will be erected in 2013 and will be dedicated in the Fall of that year at the conclusion of the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor. This will be an enormous event for Ukrainian people everywhere and millions of people will view the memorial annually because it is located in a very prominent place near Union Station and the US Capitol building where Congress is seated.
A letter from the White House was read by one of the US representatives to the United Nations and Metropolitan Antony closed the commemoration expressing gratitude to all the hierarchs and clergy, to the speakers, to those who participated in the march, to all present in the Cathedral and finally to His Excellency Cardinal Dolan who, along with his predecessors for nearly two decades invited us to conduct the commemoration in the Cathedral. The Metropolitan stated that in his conversations with Cardinal Dolan, the Cardinal has always considered this annual commemoration one of the most important of all the events that take place in the Cathedral every year. Metropolitan offered a final prayer for the victims of the Holodomor and reminded everyone that we dare not forget the Holodomor and most of all its victims. If we do, we become complicate in laying the groundwork for such a horror to take place again because of the sick mind and controlling agenda of another self-centered dictator.