Wednesday, November 9, 2016
November’s historic dates for Ukrainians
Three important events took place Nov. 1 which Ukrainians in Ukraine and throughout the world commemorate.
When World War I was close to the official end (many bloody skirmishes, especially in Ukraine and surrounding areas continued for many more years), the Ukrainians in L’viv declared the lands inhabited by Ukrainians in the Austro-Hungarian Empire will henceforth become an independent West Ukrainian National Republic with L’viv as its capital city. That day was also the beginning of a lengthy Polish-Ukrainian war. Poland eventually became the master of the largest portion of the new republic (portions were taken over by Czechoslovakia and Romania) with a mandate to grant the territory an autonomy, which Poland never fulfilled.
One of the most prominent religious and civic Ukrainian leaders for nearly half a century, Metropolitan Archbishop of L’viv Andrey Sheptytskyj (1865-1944) died on Nov. 1, 1944. He was a descendant of an old, wealthy and prominent noble family who decided to become a monk. Soon he became a Bishop, and then Archbishop and Metropolitan of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Diocese of L’viv, thus becoming the head of the worldwide Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. His life was devoted to serving his people.
He contributed large sums for charities (he funded a hospital, museum, turned over his villa for use by Boy Scouts, etc.).
He did not exclude from his attention other ethnic and religious communities, especially saving many hundreds if not thousands of Jews, mainly children, during the Nazi German occupation of Ukraine.
Metropolitan Andrey is considered a saint by most Ukrainians, including my family, notwithstanding the fact that the Vatican, for political reasons, refuses to recognize his sainthood.
The Ukrainian Liberation War hero, a prominent military leader (Chief of Staff of the Army of Ukrainian National Republic), political activist (second head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists), and prisoner of occupational regimes, including Nazi Sachsenhousen concentration camp, Col.mAndriy Melnyk (1890-1964) died while living in exile in Luxembourg on Nov. 1, 1964.
He was also a close friend and confidant of Metropolitan Sheptytskyj, and my late father’s cousin and boyhood playmate.
Members of Cpl. Roman G. Lazor Post 40 of the Ukrainian American Veterans met Friday at the Oseredok to hear reports of delegates to the recently held UAV 69th National Convention and to elect a new slate of officers for the next two years. Past National Commander and Past Post Commander Ihor W. Hron of Osprey was elected post commander, and Past Post Commander Eugene Tomashosky was elected vice commander.
Both of them and all other post officers who were re-elected will be formally installed at the Installation/ Fundraiser Luncheon at noon, Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club in North Port. On Friday.
Post 40 members will participate, with its color guard, at 11 a.m., Fri., Nov. 11, in the Veterans Day observance at Veterans Park next to the North Port Area Public Library. Members’ uniform: summer, with blue scarf.
A literary evening honoring Ivan Franko (1856 - 1916), a great Ukrainian writer and poet, will take place at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Oseredok.
Sponsors are St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center headed by Professor Victor Lisnyczyj, of North Port, and Ukrainian Language Society headed by Professor Vira Bodnaruk, of Venice.
Our Neighbors — The Ukrainians