The monument is a stone slab with a plaque installed which depicts a candle and a dove as symbols of the intent to commemorate heroes and the desire to live in a peaceful country. Several dozen Skadovsk residents gathered for the grand opening of the memorial in the town’s center on August 10. Those present included local Euromaidan activists, self-defense members, and priests. The opening involved a memorial service for the dead soldiers and a candle ceremony. People discussed most pressing issues: the war in the east, the need to support the army, and local authorities’ reluctance to go forward with major changes.
“The idea to erect a monument in honor of the Heavenly Sotnia heroes occurred to us long ago. However, the unfortunate events in eastern Ukraine brought new victims. Therefore, the memorial has been dedicated to all defenders of the national unity,” Skadovsk self-defense activist Volodymyr Kurikov told The Day. “We raised the necessary funds in our town’s central square. Fortunately, we needed only a little money, because people helped us by lending a hand: some donated this stone, others cleaned it, someone brought it to the workshop. We only had to pay for the inscribed plaque. The public responded positively. Local authorities also helped a bit, assisting with moving the monument to the site. However, we did not felt any encouragement or approval on the part of municipal officials, maybe because we are quarreling with them on the need to demolish the monument to Vladimir Lenin standing in the central square. We have repeatedly raised this issue, but councilors have refused to even put it on their agenda.”
In general, according to Kurikov, Skadovsk activists try to keep taking part in dealing with local and national issues. Having fought the previous government in winter, they are now raising funds, food and equipment supplies for the Ukrainian military, both those fighting in the anti-terrorist operation area and the border guards who have been relocated to guard the Black Sea coast not long ago. “We go to sleep in a peaceful town of Skadovsk every night, unsure whether the peace will be there in the morning. We are actually living on the front line,” the activist said. “Therefore, we help our boys who would be our first defense in case of the occupiers’ renewed aggression.”