The 51st Annual Gathering of American Ukrainians, organized by the Conference of Ukrainian Organizations for Statehood (CUOS), was held,
the weekend of July 7-8th, 2001. CYM, a member of the CUOS, assisted in planning and
hosting the meeting of American Ukrainians at the beautiful Oselia CYM in Ellenville, New York.
This year's national Annual Gathering was dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Renewal of
Ukraine's Nation Statehood (June 30, 1941), and the 10th anniversary of Ukrainian Independence.
On Saturday, July 7th, in the main hall of Oselia CYM, members of the CYM community and participants in the Counselor Training Camp,
gathered to hear a panel discussion. Panelists juxtaposed and drew parallels between the Independence Proclamations
of June 30, 1941 and August 24, 1991 and discussed their impact on current Ukrainian life.
Dr. Volodymyr Zaryckyj moderated the discussion. The main panelist was the Head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists,
Andreas Hajdamacha. Oleksander Sych (Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine), Ihor Symchych (Kyiv, Ukraine), professor Bohdan Lanovyk
(Ternopil, Ukraine), and Ihor Dlaboha (New York, USA) were invited speakers.
Andreas Hajdamacha spoke of the initiatives of OUN that proclaimed Ukraine's statehood 60 years ago. He continued with
a description of the 60th anniversary celebrations, which were centered in Kyiv and Lviv.
Oleksandr Sych spoke of today's political situation in Ukraine, including the strengthening of the government and the balance of
political and economic powers which play a role in government affairs.
Ihor Symchych, General Secretary the Ukrainian Youth Association, who is presently teaching Ukrainian history to the participants
of the Counselor Training Camp, touched upon the youth aspects of the Proclamations of June 30th and August 24th. Youth actively
participated in the revolutionary activities of the 1930-40's and the 1980-90's, which brought about the renewal of Ukrainian Independence.
Professor Bohdan Lanovyk, of Ternopil's Agricultural Academy, brought attention to the historical error made by members of Parliament,
when they proclaimed Ukrainian Independence on August 24th, 1991. Actually, the proclamation should have read, the Renewal of
Ukrainian Independence. Professor Lanovyk claimed that the members of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
lacked the depth of historical understanding and perspective that those who wrote the June 30th Proclamation, in fact, had.
Ihor Dlaboha, co-editor of the newspaper "National Tribune" reminded those present that Andreas Hajdamacha, the current head
of OUN, first visited American soil and Oselia CYM camp while still living in Europe. Dlaboha remembered taking part in
demonstrations about Ukrainian issues, along with Hajdamacha, in front of the Soviet Embassy in New York. He then went on to
speak of the current political situation in Ukraine and Ukraine's international status.
Professor Shtohryn, who witnessed the events of June 30, 1941 in Chortkiv, Ternopilska Oblast, spoke of the activities of those days.
Historians still need to explore the archival materials of this famous "week of independence", according to Shtorhryn. He
went on to speak of the diaspora's role in the body of the Ukrainian nation, comparing it to the shoulder, which, if lost, would
greatly weaken the nation and Ukraine, itself.
On Saturday evening, festivities included a dance for guests of the Oselia, participants of the 51st Annual Gatherting, and members
of the Counselor Training Camp.