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National Statement: New York, 09.11.01
To Our Members, Ukrainian Organizations and the American Nation:

On September 11, 2001, the world as we knew it, ceased to exist. A horrific Tragedy, a series of incomprehensible events taking the lives of innocent civilians in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, unfolded before our very eyes on television. We witnessed symbols of New York and the United States crumble. We stared in disbelief.

In the aftermath of the Tragedy, emotions expanded to encompass and underscore love, compassion, and patriotism. Strength was found in God's guidance and in the belief in Freedom and the virtues of America. Nonetheless, sadness and sorrow remained in the hearts of the Ukrainian community.

As members of an international youth organization, we pray for all those innocent victims who perished in this Tragedy or those who are still missing. We salute the heroes who risked their lives to save the lives of strangers. We pray for our own Sumivets, Ivan Skala, who was such a hero and selflessly raced to the World Center to save thousands of innocent lives. Ivan, a Port Authority police officer, was one of the first heroes on the scene of the Tragedy and he is still missing. Our hearts are heavy with grief and prayer for you.

This Tragedy brings us to a crossroad. How do we explain these atrocities to our children, to our members? We have yet to find the words. However, we turn to our children, our members and members of other sister organizations. Let's contribute to the recovery effort. We may not be able to do it through physically moving debris at the site of WTC. Our blood donations may not be necessary at the current time. Nonetheless, we can be a force in the recovery. Let's teach our children about volunteerism, about making a difference in this world, and about turning to God for guidance and inspiration. Our members can contribute to the American Red Cross, Sept. 11th Fund, New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund, Catholic Charities, etc. Our teenagers can volunteer their time and effort to organizations such as the Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross and United Way. Our children can visit local Firefighter and Police stations to display respect and appreciation for their efforts in protecting us. Let's contribute and make a difference.

On Sunday, Sept 16th, in St. George Church, Patriarch Husar addressed the grieving Ukrainian community of the Greater New York area. He provided spiritual guidance and inspiration. Patriarch Husar turned to SUM and Plast and reminded us that we need to continue our work with the Ukrainian youth to mold them to become loving, moral human beings. We will step up to this task and continue our mission.

With Deepest Sympathy and Respect
National Board of the Ukrainian American Youth Association (CYM)

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