This prayer-poem for the people of Ukraine incorporates a quote from Ukrainian poet and artist Taras Shevchenko, writing from St. Petersburg Citadel Prison in May, 1847, who spent years imprisoned for his pro-Ukrainian independence activities in tsarist Russia. There’s a statue in his honor on the National Mall. The title, “Hero of the Ukraine,” is from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who called the soldiers killed today defending Snake Island “heroes of the Ukraine.”
Hero of Ukraine
Defenders of Ukraine,
You each will be called Hero,
For those who have died
In a war that has never ended,
Of Russian invasions and occupations.
How much blood and war
Has the Dnieper seen,
As the majestic river flows
From Kyiv to the Black Sea?
“Evil folk and wicked men
Attack our Ukraine, once so free.”
G-d of All,
Protector and Redeemer,
Watch over the people of the Ukraine
As their land is invaded,
And war returns to the land.
Grant them safety and security,
Independence, freedom, and peace.
Watch over the soldiers
Forced into combat
To defend the nation,
And to protect their land and their homes.
G-d of Peace,
Bring a speedy end to this conflict,
And full restoration of the sovereignty to Ukraine.
Bring an end to all war, conflict, and strife,
So that Your promise of peace is fulfilled.
© 2022 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.
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Photo Source: NYT