Victims of Holodomor Honored in U.S. Capital
Families, diplomats and clergy participating in the memorial ceremony in Washington, D.C. brought candles and ears of wheat as a symbol of eternal memory.
The horrors of the Holodomor – Stalin’s 1930 forced famine that starved rural Ukraine – is remembered across the Atlantic. At the memorial in Washington DC, people gathered to honour the millions of victims.
In North America and many countries preserve their memory, says Father Volodymyr Steliac of St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral. “The community here in Washington is trying to raise awareness of the famine around the world because it is not only Ukraine that grieves. This is a world tragedy that should never happen again,” Father Steliac said.
Children and families attended the event. Ivanna, a young girl from the Ukrainian community in Washington, D.C., said, “My grandfather survived the Holodomor. He will be 100 years old in the summer. He says they look the food. Just walked into the house and took it.”
George Kent, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secratary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, who recently testified in the congressional impeachment inquiry spoke of Ukraine enduring through the tragedy. Kent said, “…the effort by the Soviet Union by Stalin, to break the back of the Ukrainian nation–and he failed, the Ukrainian spirit survived, even though millions of innocents died.”
The U.S. House of Representatives officially recognized the Holodomor as the genocide of the Ukrainian people in December last year.
Andrii Yanevskyi, the acting ambassador of the Ukrainian Embassy in the U.S., said, “You need to call a spade a spade. It was genocide. And we are grateful that the United States recognized the Holodomor as genocide. This is a key fact. Remembering and knowing our history, the USA supports the future of Ukraine. And they invest a lot in this future.”
With such events, participants hope to raise awareness of the Holodomor in Ukraine. This memorial in the very center of the American capital, stands as a permanent reminder of those who died of hunger, all those years ago.
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