CYMnet Logo CYMnet Banner
About CYM
Other CYM Sites
For Sumivtsi Only

About Ivan | A Hero Remembered | The Iron Cross of Valor
Photos 1 | Photos 2 | Photos 3 | Photos 4

This site in Ukrainian Ivan Skala: A Hero Remembered
by Olia Figol

Ivan Skala October 21, 2001 - A memorial service was held on Sunday, October 21st at Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church on President Street in Passaic, New Jersey to pay tribute to a young 31-year-old sumivets who gave his life to save others during the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

    Hundreds will remember Sunday October 21st. More than 600 people gathered to memorialize John P. Skala, Jr., a Port Authority of New York/New Jersey police officer, a paramedic of Clifton, a member of the Ukrainian American Youth Association-Passaic branch and a board member of the Ukrainian Center in Passaic.

    Over three hundred police officers, firefighters and ambulance workers, along with hundreds of Ivan's friends and family paid homage to the fallen hero. According to the Herald News, a Northern New Jersey newspaper, and other sources, officers from the Clifton Police Department, Paterson Police Department, Weehawken Police Department, West Caldwell Police Department, Passaic County Sheriff's Department, Clifton Fire Department, Passaic Fire Department, Police officers Port Authority of New York/New Jersey Police Department, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and even as far away as from the Virginia State Police Department, along with paramedics from New York and New Jersey, as well as members of CYM from Passaic, New York City, Yonkers and Irvington stood in formation as bagpipes played "Amazing Grace" and a torn American flag was raised.

    During a three-hour service at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic church, which included a mass, a panakhyda and a eulogy, the participants - both inside and outside the church - united in prayers, songs and words of remembrance for Ivan. Not a dry eye could be found in the church when the Port Authority pipes and drums reverberated inside the church as a final farewell to Ivan.

St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic church     After the mass, several state and city officials, including representatives from the office of Mayor Giuliani as well as the NY Senate and Governor's offices, friends and family members spoke of Ivan and his love of life. He was remembered as a dedicated police officer and a paramedic, a great younger brother, a loving uncle, godfather and son, a dear friend, a young man who lived his life to the fullest, always ready to help out anyone in need. Most of all, Yash, as he was known to those closest to him, was remembered as a true hero - courageous and giving to the end. His brother Michael, a detective with the Passaic County's Sheriffs Department, remembered Ivan as "having the courage of a lion, and the kind gentle heart of a lamb".

Mrs. Skala     Throughout the ceremony those in attendance sobbed, cried, moaned or sat silently-numb. The service concluded with a panakhyda followed by a 21-gun salute and a flag-folding ceremony, after which the American flag, along with Ivan's badge (number 1639) were presented to his mother, Mrs. Slavka Skala, while his bother Michael received Ivan's Port Authority uniform hat.

    Following the ceremony, hundreds of family and friends gathered at "The Bethwood" in Totowa, New Jersey for a repast. Here, all who attended were able to reminisce and one more time see his great big smile and zest for life as they viewed a video and slide show which depicted highlights from his life. As the show came to an end, we said farewell to our friend and hero with a standing ovation and uninterrupted clapping.

From our CYM family -

We love you!
We applaud you heroism!!
We salute you!!


May God grant you eternal life!

About Ivan | A Hero Remembered | The Iron Cross of Valor
Photos 1 | Photos 2 | Photos 3 | Photos 4
This site in Ukrainian

Home | About CYM | Archives | Help | Regional CYM Sites |
Check your Email | Vykhovnyky | Krylati Magazine |
Legal | Privacy Statement | Contact CYMnet

Copyright © 1999-2023 Ukrainian Youth Association (CYM). All Rights Reserved.