Friday, September 29, 2023

    Alley of Honor Dedicated to Ukraine’s Fallen Heroes opened at UOC of USA’s Spiritual Center

    On Sunday, August 27, on the 32nd anniversary of Ukrainian Independence, the clergy of the UOC of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarchate) prayerfully honored the memory of the fallen Ukrainian soldiers during a service in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-monument of St. Andrew the First-Called in the spiritual center of the USA.

    As the faithful arrived for the Divine Liturgy, they paused for a moment at the steps to examine the many banners that covered the lawn. The memorial church was surrounded by the Alley of Heroes, the elite of the Ukrainian nation – 432 photos with the inscription: “We remember the fallen defenders”, reports the website of the UOC of USA.

    Archbishop Daniel asked the faithful to pause at the steps of the church for a moment, to participate in the blessing of the banners and pray for the peaceful repose of the soldiers, the warriors and heroes depicted on them.

    As the people congregated at the foot of the church, His Eminence served a Memorial Service and then walked among the countless banners, sprinkling them with holy water, and loudly praying for their eternal souls.  His voice echoed solemnly through the plaza, reverberating over the Memorial Church, and gliding every more quietly over the graves of those who were buried in the vast cemetery beyond.  May all those who laid down their lives in defense of freedom, in defense of their nation, in defense of their loved ones, and in defense of their neighbors be remembered by the Lord in His Kingdom.

    Addressing the faithful Archbishop Daniel asked that they all remember in their prayers the souls of those who have lost their lives in this unjust war and pray for the families that grieve their passing and try to figure out how to live their lives without their loved ones next to them.  His Eminence shared the story of a young girl who was killed by an enemy missile.  It is for these innocent children that these brave men and women laid down their lives.  They valiantly fought to protect the innocent lives of civilians, young and old.  They all have earned the title of “hero” for so bravely standing up in the face of evil and defending the innocent.

    As he concluded His Eminence asked that everyone remember, pray for, and support the families of the fallen soldiers, as well as to continue to work towards the realization of a free and independent Ukrainian nation for which these heroes fought. Looking towards heaven he expressed his undying hope for a just peace to reign in Ukraine and for the souls of the fallen soldiers to rest in the Kingdom of Heaven.