Veterans Day Prayers Offered at the National UAV Monument
On Saturday, November 11, 2017 several dozens of Ukrainian-American Veterans were joined by a group of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians at the site of the National Ukrainian-American Veterans Memorial at the Metropolia Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in South Bound Brook, NJ. His Eminence Archbishop Daniel led a Prayer Service at the monument for the wellbeing of numerous veterans of the US Armed forces, especially those of Ukrainian descent.
In his opening remarks, prior to the beginning of the Prayer service, Archbishop Daniel stated: “We enjoy great freedom in the United States. That includes, especially, the freedom to practice our faith. This freedom does not come without cost. Who have put their lives on the line to preserve it for us?.. The annual celebration of Veterans Day on November 11th invites us to remember the men and women who have put themselves in harm’s way to defend our way of life and the values we hold dear. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those killed in the line of duty, those still suffering from the effects of their generous response to the Nation’s call, and, of course, everyone who has retired from active duty. Even the privilege to hold differing opinions and to express them openly is a result of the sacrifice of a few for all.”
“Veterans’ Day invites us to pause for a moment and reflect on the lives of men and women who respond and responded to the needs of our nation,” said Archbishop Daniel, concluding his remarks.
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. Ivan Lyshyk, Very Rev. Fr. Roman Shak, Very Rev. Fr. Zynoviy Zharsky of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Trenton, NJ; 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 the Three Holy Hierarchs Chapel (St. Sophia Seminary) in South Bound Brook/Somerset, NJ; Rev. Fr. James Cairns of St. Demetrios Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Carteret, NJ as well as Deacon Ivan Tchopko of St. Sophia Seminary Chapel assisted the Archbishop in the celebration of the Prayer Service.
In the formal Veterans Day ceremony by the National UAV Monument were many veterans of various war conflicts of the past decade. Among them were two men Volodymyr Bodnar and Michael Fedirko – veterans of the Second World War, who together with the Archbishop placed a memorial wreath at the foundation of the monument.
Moreover, Oksana Koziak, president of UAV women’s’ society as well as Petro Hrucak representing the Boy Scouts of America took part in the formal ceremony of the day.
In conclusion, Lieutenant colonel Michael Hrucak, NJ UAV Commander expressed his gratitude to those in attendance and the honor that community bestowed upon the veterans in attendance.