Feb 24, 2014
08:04 AMConnecticut Today
Ukrainian Americans in Connecticut Memorialize the Dead in Kiev, Pray for Peace
Peter Casolino/New Haven Register
Hope Langer-Marshall of Plainville cries during a memorial service at St. Michaels Ukrainian Church (New Haven) for those killed in the Ukraine during the past weeks.
NEW HAVEN--Even as Ukraine’s uncertain future continued to unfold Sunday in Kiev, dozens of parishioners lit candles at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church on George Street to memorialize the more than 80 people who died in recent unrest — and pray for peace.
They also collected donations for medical supplies for the crisis, in which hundreds have been injured.
Parishioners were joined by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Mayor Toni Harp and former congressman and University of New Haven President Larry DeNardis, who was part of a team of international election observers in Ukraine back in 2004,
After lighting candles during a short memorial service following regular Sunday services, parishioners walked over to the church hall for a formal candle lighting ceremony, at which the names of 55 of the “demonstrators and militia men who perished” were read.
Myron Melnyk, director of the Ukrainian Studies School at St. Michael’s, told the crowd of well over 100 people that the names read were “a partial list” and that the death told had climbed over 80 by Sunday mornng.
Despite very recent tumultuous change in Ukraine that many people in the room cautiously viewed as positive, “it’s not a time for euphoria, because the hard part starts now,” Melnyk said.
In Ukraine on Sunday — after President Viktor Yanukovych was forced from power in what many are calling a revolution — legislators elected a temporary leader, fired officials loyal to Yanukovych’s government and began repealing a series of unpopular laws that had spurred weeks of unrest.