Day of Heroes of Ukraine: the history of the holiday and whose names we can't forget
Ukraine has a rich history of fighting for freedom. Since ancient times, the Ukrainian people have resisted external invaders and fought for their independence. Today, Ukrainians continue their struggle as well. Learn more about the Day of Heroes of Ukraine and Ukrainian heroes of today
The Day of Heroes of Ukraine can be considered one of the most important holidays in the country. It is dedicated to the memory of people who have become heroes in the past and to this day. They gave their lives to fight for the independence, freedom and dignity of their people. Their deeds and dedication will forever remain in the hearts of Ukrainians and serve as an example for future generations.
Heroes' Day of Ukraine: the history of the holiday
The Day of Heroes on May 23 was established in 1941 by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). This day was not chosen by chance: On May 23, 1938, Yevhen Konovalets, a colonel of the UPR army, statesman, military and political figure, one of the main ideologues of Ukrainian nationalism, was assassinated.
On Heroes' Day, people not only congratulate people who risked their lives to fight for the country's independence, but also honor the memory of those who gave their lives for the righteous cause.
This date is dedicated to all Ukrainian warriors-knights of Kyivan Rus, Cossacks of the Hetmanate, insurgents, Ukrainian Sich Riflemen and soldiers of the UPR and UPA armies, and now soldiers of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
How the Day of Heroes of Ukraine is celebrated
The holiday is celebrated throughout the week. In peacetime, mass events are postponed to the next Saturday and Sunday.
However, in 2023, in wartime, mass events are banned in Ukraine. Therefore, people can honor the memory of the fallen heroes by laying flowers at the respective monuments on their own.
Heroes of Ukraine of the past centuries
It is important to note that Ukrainian heroes are citizens of Ukraine who lived in different eras and defended their native land.
Such personalities include, in particular, Grand Duke Sviatoslav and King Danylo, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Ivan Mazepa, Ivan Vyhovsky, Myron Tarnavsky, Dmytro Vitovsky, Symon Petliura, and Stepan Bandera.
All of these people fought for the freedom of the Ukrainian land and gave their lives for the sake of their descendants, who should always remember their names.
In this list, we have mentioned only some of the people who lived in different eras, but equally fought for their homeland with arms in their hands.
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Heroes of Ukraine in our time
For Ukraine, the 21st century is also marked by the struggle for independence and freedom. The cause defended by our ancestors has also been taken up by the heroes of our time.
Among Ukraine's modern heroes are many military personnel who continue to fight against the Russian horde. These stalwart fighters are defending their land from the aggressor with great courage and heroism. Their actions should be respected and remembered, as they make a great contribution to the preservation of Ukraine's territorial integrity.
One of the most famous heroes of our time is Dmytro Kotsiubaylo. He is a Ukrainian soldier who took part in the Russian-Ukrainian war. The soldier, who bore the call sign "Da Vinci," was killed in the battles for Bakhmut in March 2023. However, the story of his battles for the territorial integrity of Ukraine began in 2014, when Russia launched a war in Donbas.
Kotsiubaylo is the first volunteer to be awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine for life.
We should also not forget other names of Ukrainian citizens who gave their lives for our freedom. People like Vasyl Spivak (a famous opera singer and soldier who gave his life on the battlefield), Serhiy Kulchytskyi (a major general who fought in eastern Ukraine), and Oleksandr Oksanchenko (a colonel and class I pilot who defended the skies of Ukraine on the first day of the full-scale Russian invasion and died in a battle over Kyiv).
From 2014 to 2023, the list of Heroes of Ukraine was expanded by many names. For the most part, the list of heroic personalities includes military personnel who took/are taking an active part in the defense of Ukraine's state sovereignty and territorial integrity. Unfortunately, many of the awards in 2022 and 2023 were given to heroes posthumously.
Heroes' Day is a time when Ukrainians come together to honor the memory of heroes of the past and present. This holiday reminds us of the significance of the struggle for freedom, the powerful force of national unity, and that each of us can become a hero in our own lives by defending the ideals of freedom, justice, and dignity. Heroes' Day also reminds us of the importance of fostering patriotism and a spirit of loyalty to our country in younger generations.
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