November 19, 2002
New York, New York
New York - At a press conference held Saturday, November 16th, 2002, the
Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) announced its proposal to
construct a Famine-Genocide Memorial in Washington DC by the year 2008.
Funding for the memorial is to be a joint community effort expected to start
early in 2003.
A bill (H.R. 5279) to "authorize the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America
to establish a memorial on Federal land in the District of Columbia to honor
victims of the Ukrainian famine-genocide of 1932-1933" was introduced this
year in Congress by Representative Sander Levin (D-Michigan). The same
bill is to be re-introduced by Mr. Levin early next year.
Remarks by Michael Sawkiw, President of UCCA, at the press conference:
Your Eminence, Your Excellencies, reverend clergy, distinguished guests,
representatives of the press, Ladies And Gentlemen!
It gives me great pleasure to stand before you today and announce a
fulfillment of a joint initiative with Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan and the
Ukrainian Congress Committee of America to introduce House Resolution 5289,
which allocates a plot of land in Washington, D.C., whereby the Ukrainian
community will erect a monument to the victims of Ukrainian Famine-Genocide
Having just experienced a moving ceremony in St. Patrick's Cathedral, in
memory of the nearly 10 million victims of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide, it
is difficult to comprehend how the Soviet government for decades concealed
this tragic incident.
The Ukrainian community in the West has been persistently trying to tell the
world of the horror imposed on the Ukrainian people; of the deliberately
calculated plan to kill off the Ukrainian nation by hunger.
It is hard to imagine the callousness of the authors of this deathly
knowing full well of the consequences, they proceeded to implement an
unspeakable horror and watched as nearly 10 million children, elderly,
women and men went to their grave from starvation.
Heartlessly, they made food their weapon in conquering a nation too strong
to be subjugated otherwise. They were trying to rob the Ukrainian people of
dignity and demolish their will for freedom. However, the immense hardship
only strengthened our resolve. Having survived the Famine-Genocide of
1932-1933, the Ukrainian people rose stronger than ever and continued to
struggle to break free of communist shackles.
In cooperation with Rep. Sander Levin, the main sponsor of the Ukrainian
Famine Memorial in Washington, D.C., we are here to state that the
Famine-Genocide Memorial in Washington, D.C. will constantly remind
passers-by of the horrors that oppression and isolation brings to people and
will motivate the on-going struggle to bring freedom to all comers of the
Furthermore, H.R. 5289 also indicates that the Congress of the United
States views the horrors of 1932-1933 as an act of genocide, which has been
concealed for the longer part of the 20th century and which is still unknown
to many in the world.
I am very proud that the Ukrainian community of the United States remains
active in bringing the truth to the world and exposing the oppressive Soviet
regime even after its disappearance. The UCCA has been working diligently on
the issue of constructing a monument to the victims of the Ukrainian
Famine-Genocide and I am extremely pleased to announce that our efforts have
come to fruition.
I especially wish to thank Rep. Sander Levin and our community for their
continuous support and involvement as well as their generosity of time and
without which none of this would be possible.
© HK/BRAMA; Photo on Brama; standing: Michael Sawkiw, UCCA President
seated: David Ettinger (Legislative Assistant, Office of Congressman Sander
Levin) and Larissa Key (President of UUARC)