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Memorial Commemorating Ukrainian Genocide to Open in Washington

Zachary Leshin
By Zachary Leshin | November 5, 2015 | 5:09 PM EST

Memorial to commemorate the Ukrainian Genocide of 1932-33 in Washington, D.C. (CNSNews.com/Zachary Leshin)

A memorial to commemorate the Ukrainian Genocide of 1932-33 will be dedicated in Washington on Saturday. The memorial was authorized in 2006 by an act of Congress introduced by Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI).

The memorial commemorates the Holodomor, the genocide committed against Ukrainians by the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin. An estimated four million Ukrainians died of starvation in a government-created famine.

The United States formally recognized the Holodomor as a genocide in 2003.

But the Russian government still denies that the Holodomor was a genocide, with the Kremlin-funded Sputnik News repeating a discredited Soviet-era claim that it was a hoax fabricated by the West.

The memorial is located in Washington, D.C. two blocks west of Union Station.

The dedication ceremony will take place on Saturday at 2 pm in front of Union Station, which is also hosting an exhibit about the memorial through November 14.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the memorial took place on December 4, 2013, and was attended by over 200 people.

When the memorial design was approved in 2012, there was some criticism from within the D.C. government over aspects of the design, particularly the blank wall that faces F Street.

“Even though a crowd of people might be on the other side of that wall, interacting with the memorial, talking about their experiences in the Ukraine, talking about hunger problems, whatever it might be, if you're on the other side of that wall, nothing is going on,” D.C. Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregoning complained.

District Council Member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) said he was concerned about public safety, saying that the wall “clearly creates potentially a nice hiding space” for criminals.

But Peter May, associate regional director for lands, planning, and design at the National Park Service, defended the design: “I understand the concern, but don't necessarily agree that it is as negative an effect as Ms. Tregoning suggests.

“Given the full range of things we have looked at for this memorial, this is by far the best concept. Some of the suggestions for making it more porous or lowering the height would significantly diminish the concept.”


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