National Monument Dedication
A national monument became a reality for the Ukrainian American Veterans on a rainy Saturday afternoon, 3 October 2015. Over 250 people gathered at the spiritual headquarters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in South Bound Brook, NJ for the formal dedication and unveiling of the national Monument, honoring Ukrainian Americans who served in the United States Armed Forces.
Representatives of various government and Ukrainian community organizations took part in a formal dedication and blessing ceremony. The ceremony was opened by a prayer and the national anthems of the United States of America and Ukraine sang by Ukrainian Youth Association Choir of Chicago, IL. Speeches and reflections of various dignitaries among whom were National UAV Commander Ihor W. Hron, Metropolitan Antony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, Metropolitan Stefan of Ukrainian Catholic Church and others, provided an opportunity for everyone one in attendance to reflect and acknowledge the service, sacrifice and contribution of all Ukrainian American men and women who have honorably served and continue to serve in the United States Armed Forces.
The formal blessing service was conducted by His Eminence Metropolitan Antony (UOC of the USA), Metropolitan Stefan (UCC), Bishop Daniel (UOC of the USA) assisted by Very Rev. Yuriy Siwko, Very Rev. Mykola Filyk and Rev. Vasyl Pasakas. The student choir of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary chanted responses to the dedication liturgical service. A final act of the dedications service was prayerful chanting of memory eternal, chanted by His Grace Bishop Daniel in memory of the fallen veterans and soldiers of Ukrainian-American descent. Once the prayer concluded, Bishop Daniel once again called to attention the sacrifices of the so many still living veterans, whose service and sacrifices were honored by the prayerful pronouncement – GOD GRANT YOU MANY YEARS – MNOHAYA LITA!
National Monument History
For decades there has been a strong desire among the membership of the Ukrainian American Veterans (UAV) to construct a national monument that would pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Americans of Ukrainian ancestry who gave so much – in far too many cases their very lives – in service to the United States. The idea of a national monument honoring all Ukrainian Americans who served in the United States Armed Forces was presented to his Eminence Archbishop Antony, President of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. Archbishop Antony enthusiastically embraced the idea and, after discussions with the Hierarchs and Metropolitan Council of the Church, offered a plot of land in a prime location on the grounds of St. Andrew’s Memorial Church and Cemetery in South Bound Brook, New Jersey, as the site for the monument.
Especially interesting and most appropriate is the fact that the site in South Bound Brook has historical significance dating back to the American Revolution. The property was owned by Hendrick Fisher, a leader of the New Jersey delegation to the Continental Congress. The family’s private cemetery is now surrounded by the graves of Ukrainians who fought for freedom both in Ukraine and in the United States. Thus, this presents a unique blending of two histories – Ukrainian and American.
National Monument Committee
On October 21, 2004, at a meeting presided over by newly-elected UAV National Commander Anna Krawczuk, a group of veterans and clergy met and formed the Ukrainian American Veterans National Monument Committee. Honorary Chairmen are His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, His Grace Metropolitan Archbishop Stefan of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the USA, and long-time UAV activist Stephen Wichar. Archbishop Antony is the active advisor to the committee.
Co-Chairmen of the committee are UAV Past National Commander Mathew Koziak and the Rev. Protopresbyter Frank Estocin, Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Treasurer is National Commander Anna Krawczuk, and the Assistant Treasurer is Dobrodiyka Irene Estocin. The committee secretary is UAV former National Adjutant Walter Bodnar.
Other committee members include
- Reverend Protopresbyter William Diakiw, Ukrainian Orthodox Church
- Arch-priest Daniel Gurovich, Ukrainian Catholic Church
- Vasyl Luchkiw, UAV Past National Commander and former UAV National Historian
- Oksana Koziak, Vice President of the UAV Ladies Auxiliary
- Walter Demetro, former UAV National Webmaster
- Bernard Krawczuk, UAV Post 30 Commander,
- Michael Wowk, former UAV National Public Relations Officer
- Edward Zetick, UAV Past National Commander
St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery
280 Main Street
South Bound Brook, New Jersey
UAV National Monument Committee
P.O. Box 5058
Somerset, NJ 08875-5058