Thursday, August 21, 2014

Independence of Ukraine commemorations set

     The 23rd anniversary of the restoration of the independence of Ukraine will be commemorated worldwide this weekend. The,,,,Hamaliasouth@aol.fcom,,,,,,,,,,d “commemorate” is being used instead of “celebrate,” which is not quite appropriate this year due to the ongoing struggle with the terrorists in one segment of Ukraine. There are casualties of both military personnel and civilians, which include women and children who are being murdered by the terrorists who have been trained by and in Russia and are being supplied by Russia with armaments and trained personnel.

    The North Port and Southwest Florida Ukrainian American community will gather at 8 a.m. Friday for the raising of the Ukrainian national flag, together with our American national flag, by members of Cpl. Roman G. Lazor Post 40 of the Ukrainian American Veterans in front
of North Port City Hall.

    The Ukrainian Independence Commemoration Proclamation, issued by the North Port City Commission at its July 28 meeting, will be read after the opening ceremonies, which will include, following the raising of the flags, the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing/playing of the two national anthems, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Ukrainian “Shche Ne Vmerla Ukrayiny” (Ukraine’s glory and freedom did not die), and a few remarks by some dignitaries.

    The North Port mayor, commissioners and other city officials are expected to attend this brief
ceremony. Obviously, this ceremony is open to all.

    Romana Harasymiak Guran, president of the Coordinating Committee of Ukrainian American organizations of North Port and vicinity, sponsor of this ceremony, is asking Ukrainian American participants to wear the traditional Ukrainian embroidered attire (shirts, blouses, ties, etc.). Members of UAV Post 40 are being asked to wear their summer uniform (white shirt, gray trousers and veterans cap) with blue scarves.

    On Sunday, there will be special “Molebens” (brief prayer services) at the conclusion of the regular Sunday liturgies (Masses) at both North Port churches, St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center and St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church. All are invited to attend these services.

                                                              • • •

    Tuesday, the Ukrainian Christians celebrated
Transfiguration of Our Lord, commonly known as “Spas.” In addition to the celebration of this unique event in the life of our Lord, the Ukrainian faithful bring fruits to the churches, which is blessed in a special brief ceremony at the conclusion of the divine liturgy (Mass).

    I remember from my childhood days in my native village Yakubova Volya (Jacob’s Freedom) in Ukraine that many older, pious people, including
my saintly foster grandparents, Ilko and Kateryna Ivanishak, would not eat any fruit until after the blessing at the church on the Transfiguration of Our Lord holiday. One of the reasons I remember this so vividly is because they deprived themselves from eating very delicious
apples from a couple of trees, planted and groomed by my father, whose fruits ripened already in June and were not available by August.

    Atanas Kobryn covers the Ukrainian community for the North Port Sun.

Our Neighbors — The Ukrainians
by Atanas Kobryn

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