Edmonton commemorates fallen heroes

Front row (L-R): Rev. Julian Bilyj, Very Rev. Stephen Wojcichowsky, Rev. Janko Herbut, Taras Podilsky. Photo by Marco Levytsky

NP-UN Western Bureau.

Edmonton’s community commemorated the heroes who died for an independent Ukraine on Julian Calendar Pentecost, known as “Zeleni sviata” or “Green Holidays” in Ukrainian, June 16.

On that day Ukrainians traditionally visit gravesites of loved ones and pray for their souls.

A Memorial Service for the departed heroes was conducted by Very Rev. Stephen Wojcichowsky, Rev. Julian Bilyj, and Rev. Janko Herbut, all from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton, at the monument to Ukrainian freedom fighters at St. Michael’s Cemetery.

Taras Podilsky, President of the Edmonton Branch of the League of Ukrainian Canadians, which organized the event, noted that while in the past the community remembered those who had died fighting for Ukraine’s independence in World Wars I and II, like the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, the First Division of the National Army of Ukraine, the Sich Sharpshooters, the Ukrainian Galician Army, the students at the Battle of Kruty and others, today, “under the same heaven that we stand below right now, young boys and girls are fighting for freedom in eastern Ukraine.

He added that we also remember those Ukrainian Canadians who gave their lives for Canada’s freedom.

“On this day of Green Holidays and the Holy Trinity, we not only remember the apostles of Christ, who so bravely started their mission to build Christ’s Church in the world, we also remember those brave contemporary and historic heroes of the Ukrainian people for their struggle and sacrifice. Heroes do not die and your presence here today bears witness to that,” Podilsky concluded.