Our Connections with Ukraine

by , under Family Stories, My Family History

Watching the news coverage of Putin’s War against Ukraine has reminded me of what my late wife Mary Jane said some 60 years ago about teaching elementary music at Thoreau Park Elementary School on W 54th St. in Parma, Ohio. She said that her music room was converted most Saturdays into a classroom for area students to learn to speak Ukrainian. The school district has built several new elementary schools since MJ’s teaching days, but Thoreau Park remains as one of Parma School District’s eight elementary schools. (For info on elementary schools in Parma, including Thoreau Park, go here: https://www.usnews.com/education/k12/elementary-schools/ohio/parma-city-108306

Another reminder popped up in my news feed The Wakeup published by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. This was presented with the headline: CNN visits Parma and Ukrainian Village; city prepares for expected refugees.

Parma City Hall showing support of Ukraine
Utrainian flag flying over Parma, Ohio, city hall.

For this news item, go here: https://www.cleveland.com/community/2022/03/cnn-visits-parma-and-ukrainian-village-city-prepares-for-expected-refugees.html?e=fe5c4b9a9bba9369bcee575d529f5247&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter_wake_up%202022-03-17&utm_term=Newsletter_wake_up

Some facts gleaned from this report:

• Parma has a Ukrainian ethnic community identified as Ukarinian Village. People involved are collecting donations of money and goods for Ukrainian relief. With some additional research I found this website: https://ukrainianvillageparma.org/

• Parma has some 4,000 residents who identify with Ukrainian ethnicity.

• An important place of worship for Ukrainians in Parma is St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral on State Road. Over the years, I have driven by this church countless times without knowing its importance to Parma residents. Wikipedia.org has this entry with a photo and map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St.Josaphat_Ukrainian_Catholic_Cathedral(Parma,_Ohio)

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