This year, we celebrate two jubilees related to the memory of Taras Grygorovych Shevchenko.
200 years ago, on March 9, Ukraine gave the world the Genius, the Poet, the Prophet. Today, the Ukrainian American community celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Monument to the Great Kobzar in Washington, DC.
Washington and Kyiv are divided by thousands of miles. The monument to the first US President, who inspired the great son of Ukraine, is very close by. It was not an incident that they met in Washington half a century ago – after all, Taras Shevchenko is just the same symbol of supreme ideals of freedom for the Ukrainian people as is George Washington for the American people.
The road to erection of the Shevchenko Monument over the ocean was long and difficult. Only due to joint efforts by the Ukrainian diaspora members, their insistence and perseverance, the monument arose in the very center of Washington; people come here to pay tribute to the Ukrainian Genius from all ends of the earth.
The Shevchenko Monument in Washington arose as the symbol of liberation, freedom and independence of all captive nations; for Ukrainians, it became the symbol of uniting around Taras and his flamboyant and fair words that do not succumb to censorship and time.
Now, when Ukraine is independent, but faces a threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the monument gained a new meaning – it proves resilience of Ukrainians in the fight for their dignity and freedom. It became the symbol of their patriotism and limitless love for their Motherland.
Today we perceive Shevchenko’s words as prophecy: “Keep fighting—you are sure to win! God helps you in your fight! For fame and freedom march with you, And right is on your side!”.
Pavlo Klimkin, Minister
Image of: ipress.ua