BOSTON – The Greater Boston Holodomor Remembrance Committee of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America remembered the victims of the Holodomor with memorial services held concurrently at Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church and St. Andrew the First-Called Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
At Christ the King, the “panakhyda” conducted on Friday, November 11 by the Rev. Archpriest Yaroslav Nalysnyk was followed by the entire congregation reverently participating in a candlelight procession around the church grounds. Father Nalysnyk was flanked by Holodomor Committee Chairman Paul Thomas Rabchenuk and activist Maria Walzer as he left the church. The march consisted of approximately 100 participants.
Following the march, participants viewed a commemorative video made under the auspices of Medway Massachusetts Cable Television and featuring local activists Ms. Walzer, Father Nalysnyk and Alexa Raniuk, the granddaughter of the late Holodomor survivor Anna Raniuk.
Ms. Walzer’s presentation outlined the history of the Holodomor as historic documents and pictures from 1932-1933 were shown in the background. She explained how her father, Konrad Husak, started the movement toward Holodomor education after the family’s arrival in the United States in 1949. Mr. Husak conducted marches, appeared at public functions and inspired his daughter to circulate information about the Holodomor so that the then-unknown tragedy would be brought to public light and not be forgotten. She outlined the various measures taken recently by members of the Holodomor Remembrance Committee to educate the public and to obtain the support of non-Ukrainian educational groups such as Facing History and Ourselves.
Ms. Raniuk, dressed in a “vyshyvanka,” read a statement from her late grandmother, Anna Raniuk, which detailed the suffering of the victims during 1932-1933 and her grandmother’s first-hand experiences and observations.
Father Nalysnyk spoke in detail about the history of the Holodomor and specifically mentioned the need for education outside the Ukrainian community. While taking a course at Boston University, he said, when the subject of genocide came up his fellow students were surprised to hear about the Holodomor from him for the first time.
Throughout the presentations by Ms. Raniuk and Father Nalysnyk, documents and photographs continued to appear in the background.
The Boston events were held on the eve of the Holodomor commemoration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on Saturday, November 12.
Chairman Rabchenuk noted the number of activists who had contributed to the effort toward Holodomor education during the past year. They collected signatures on petitions and obtained letters of support from state and national leaders. They also attended numerous meetings with state educational leaders and key officials of the Massachusetts Department of Education.
Among activists who deserved special recognition for their efforts, Chairman Rabchenuk cited Hania Kurniawka, Mary Ann Hrinada, John Chopyk, Orest Fedan, Roman Palenga, Michael Hotz, William Stan, Walter Balyk, Ostap Nalysnyk and Ms. Walzer.