Metropolitan Borys Gudziak receives Ellis Island Medal of Honor

May 22, 2024, 18:24 121

The Ellis Island Honors Society convened its Annual Ellis Island Medals of Honor ceremony on May 18th, upholding a tradition dating back to 1986. Acknowledged as one of the United States’ most esteemed accolades, the Medal pays homage to Americans dedicated to serving their nation and fellow citizens.

Metropolitan Borys Gudziak receives Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Among the recipients of this year’s Medals was Metropolitan Borys Gudziak, Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia. Awardees represented diverse sectors, including business, medicine, military, education, politics, media, and show business, reflecting the vibrant tapestry of American society. Many of these honorees have made invaluable contributions that spur job creation, ensure security for millions, and bolster community health and well-being. They included curator of TED Talks Chris Anderson; former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.; Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber; actor Whoopi Goldberg; CEO of Fortune Magazine Alan Murray; Craigslist founder Craig Newmark; President and CEO Montefiore Medicine Dr. Philip Ozuah; businesswoman and actress Priscilla Presley; businessman and philanthropist David Rockefeller Jr.; award-winning documentary filmmaker, author, artist and conservationist Susan Rockefeller; founder of CNBC and MSNBC Tom Rogers.

Metropolitan Borys was the sole religious leader among the 88 recipients this year. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a past recipient, underscored Archbishop Borys’s “strong and passionate voice on behalf of the suffering people of Ukraine” in a letter addressed to participants of the Ellis Island Honors Dinner.

Historically, several Ukrainian Americans have been recognized. This year, Ambassador Paula Dobriansky and Archbishop Borys Gudziak represented the Ukrainian-American community, joining past recipients like Bishop-Emeritus Basil Losten, Dr. Eugene Holuka, Zenia Mucha, Myron Holubiak, Dr. Ihor Sawczuk, and Leonard Mazur.

“As a member of the Ellis Island Medals of Honor Advisory Committee,” noted Dr. Eugene Holuka, “I firmly believe it’s imperative to ensure that Ukrainian-Americans making significant contributions receive national recognition beyond just our Diaspora community. Our community has a rich history of involvement in diverse fields, and it’s crucial that our achievements are noticed and celebrated on a broader scale.”

Metropolitan Borys expressed gratitude for the recognition, emphasizing the importance of raising awareness and fostering solidarity amidst the ongoing struggles faced by Ukraine and its people.

“For decades Ellis Island was the landing point for many immigrants. This award celebrates the legacy of immigrants who came to America and lived fruitful lives. I am most grateful for the recognition of the Ellis Island Medal Committee at a time when the people and churches of Ukraine struggle for their very existence. It is in the light of the heroic sacrifices of Ukrainians and members of our Church that I have received this award.”

Press service of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia

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