The Kyiv City State Administration has announced a contest to create a Memorial to the Heaven’s Hundred in Kyiv. It will be an all-Ukrainian contest, citizens from other countries can also participate. The first stage of the contest is a submission of ideas. The best ideas will be selected for the second stage of the contest after public discussion and by a jury and public council of experts. The deadline is July 23, 2014. All the details can be found on the official website of the contest, http://nebesna.kga.gov.ua/
The concept of a Memorial to the Heaven’s Hundred has given rise to much discussion in Ukrainian society. What is the meaning of the Heaven’s Hundred? Why is it central to the Maidan’s memory?
Heroes do not die!
With the very same words Ukraine had been following her sons and daughters to the grave. Those, who died for their country and people. The best have left us again. Those, for whom such words as ‘truth’, ‘dignity’, ‘freedom’ and ‘Ukraine’ were not just the simple words, but the true meaning of their lives.
The history of Ukraine has seen many tragic periods, when the freedom, and even the very existence of the Ukrainian people had been at stake. However, at times like that, Ukraine’s best sons and daughters had been always protecting their land, country, and the fellow citizens.
It has been this way in the Middle Ages, in the times of Kozaks and days of struggles for independence in 1917-1921, during the WWII, and in the early 1990s.
Now the time has come again. The time of making a choice between the freedom and slavery, the bright future and the dark past, justice and tyranny.
Ukrainians, Jews, Russians and Armenians, Georgians and Belarusians have been standing side-by-side at Maidan. The Ukrainian land and a strong wish to live in a free country have united them all.
First, they demanded the right to choose. Later, they had to demand the right to live. Even though the snipers’ bullets make a powerful argument, yet no bullets, grenades, or outrageous cruelty were able to defeat these people. They have died but not surrendered…
Thus, another sotnia [lit. ‘hundred’, or Kozak military unit] has appeared at Maidan. It is the Heaven’s Hundred, the most important, the most powerful of sotnias for Ukraine. Each of its members has paid the ultimate price for their beliefs, sacrificing their life. For us it is a sacred duty to properly honor the Heroes, in order to remember who died and for what purpose. It must be a reminder to all of us that we must not betray them.
At the community’s request it has been decided to create a Memorial to the Heaven’s Hundred. And this will be a real community effort. Everyone is welcome to participate by submitting an idea, voting, or supporting financially. The Memorial to the peoples’ heroes will be a public affair. All activities involved with preparing and carrying out the contest will be published on the website. We invite everyone to cooperate. Each voice shall be heard. It must not be otherwise.
Dark times will pass, wheat will grow once again, children will laugh and Ukraine will be reborn. However, from now on another hundred is added to the heavenly hosts. It is the Heaven’s Hundred.
Heroes do not die!
Translated by Katherina Smirnova, edited by Alya Shandra