UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
PROGRESS WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT
OF THE HOLODOMOR MEMORIAL CONTINUES
Washington, DC (U.S. Holodomor Committee) – The procedures associated with the establishment of the Ukrainian Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial in Washington, DC are steadily progressing. Since late October 2011, and the first in a series of hearings held on the design concept of the Ukrainian Holodomor Memorial, the month of December was inundated with Holodomor Memorial-related activities including a presentation of the concept designs to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) on December 1, 2011; a public scoping meeting held on December 8, 2011 for residents of Washington, DC to express their opinion on the projects; and, a hearing on December 14, 2011 before the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission (NCMAC).
Each of the informational meetings afforded an opportunity to vet the two projects before various commissioners and boards. The conceptual renderings - ‘Field of Wheat’, designed by Ukrainian American architect Larysa Kurylas, and ‘Shooting Hands’, designed by Ukrainian sculptor Ihor Hrechanyk - were presented by Mary Kay Lanzillotta, partner at the Hartman-Cox Architects firm. Also present at the various sessions were representatives from the Embassy of Ukraine and the U.S. Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness 1932-33.
During the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission (NCMAC) hearing, Ms. Oresta Starak, First Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine and Michael Sawkiw, Jr., Chairman of the U.S. Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness 1932-33 both provided remarks in favor of the establishment of a Ukrainian Famine-Genocide Memorial in Washington, DC. Ms. Starak attested to the fact that the Ukrainian Holodomor was covered up for decades by the Soviets and only recently brought to the world’s attention. The Holodomor Memorial would be a testament to the expanding bilateral relationship between Ukraine and the United States.
Accordingly, Mr. Sawkiw elaborated on the Ukrainian American community’s desire to have a Holodomor memorial built so that more people become aware of the largely “Unknown Genocide.” In his remarks, Mr. Sawkiw quoted from a statement issued by President George W. Bush in 2003 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Ukrainian Holodomor, which in part read, “The world must teach lessons from this dark chapter in [Ukrainian] history to future generations and prevent atrocities like this in the future.” Mr. Sawkiw continued, “It is because of this, that the Ukrainian American community considers it extremely important that a monument to the millions of innocent victims of the Famine-Genocide be built in our nation’s capital…and would serve as not only a memorial to those who perished, but also as a tool to help educate the global community about such heinous crimes.” In addition to the Embassy and U.S. Holodomor Committee, representatives from the Ukrainian American community including local clergy and the CEO of the Ukrainian National Federal Credit Union, Christine Balko, were also present at the hearing.
Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), co-chair of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus (CUC) and also the main sponsor of the congressional bill to allocate federal land for the establishment of a Memorial to the victims of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide, provided a written statement to the Commission. Presented by Mr. Sawkiw, the statement, in part, read, “Preventing the reoccurrence of crimes against humanity such as the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide begins with remembering the tragedies of the past and honoring those who suffered so greatly as a result. Thanks to the persistence of the Ukrainian American community and the Ukrainian Government, we will soon have a memorial right here in the center of Washington that does just that. I am very proud to have been a part of that effort. Today, I urge the Commission to join the Ukrainian American community in remembering the victims of this tragedy and renewing our commitment to ensure that it is never repeated.”
The Commission’s (NCMAC) findings revealed their affinity for the ‘Field of Wheat’ design (rendering attached). Though comments were opined regarding certain elements of the design, the Advisory Commission seemed unanimous in their decision and coincides with the findings of the Commission of Fine Arts, which on October 27, 2011 issued their statement: “the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed two alternative concept designs for the Memorial to the Victims of the Ukrainian (Holodomor) of 1932-1933. The Commission agreed that the project team’s preferred alternative, ‘Field of Wheat,’ is the superior design and approved this concept with the following recommendations: In order to make a more powerful design, the Commission members recommended carefully considering the treatment of the wall to which the wheat field bas-relief will be attached.” Targeted completion of the project is scheduled for the 80th anniversary of the Ukrainian Holodomor.
The U.S. Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness 1932-33 continues to monitor and actively participate in various meetings with the architectural firm, federal agencies, and the Embassy of Ukraine for the establishment of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide Memorial in Washington, DC. The U.S. Holodomor Committee is also actively engaged in preparing plans (curriculum, Holodomor memorial, exhibits, and conferences) for the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933, which will be spearheaded with a kick-off campaign in November 2012.
For more information, please visit the U.S. Holodomor Committee’s Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/sbPrke (shortened form of: https://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Committee-for-Ukrainian-Holodomor-Genocide-Awareness-1932-33/115928911852192) to learn more about the activities and programs.
Donations for the U.S. Holodomor Committee’s work and the Holodomor Memorial in Washington, DC may also be sent to the following address:
U.S. Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness 1932-33
203 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA actively support the efforts of the U.S. Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness 1932-33; and represented at the meetings by Mrs. Daria Pishko-Komichak, Rev. Fr. George Bazylevsky and His Grace Bishop Daniel.