On December 2nd, 2018 in Los Angeles, a panikhida was served for Russian soldiers who served  in WWI by the initiative of the parishioners of Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral and Russian public organizations: the Russian Imperial Union of the Order, Russian Children’s Welfare Society, the Nizhny Novgorod Scout Group, the local department of the Russian Nobiliary Assembly, the Congress of Russian Americans, and St. John of Kronstadt Home. The panikhida was served by the rector of Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles, Archpriest Nazari Polataiko. During the panikihida, Cossacks and members of all military organizations that existed in Los Angeles were commemorated along with Russian soldiers, in particular, the Cossack-mountain village and the Gallipoli Society, many of whom were the founders and parishioners of our Cathedral. Parishioners and representatives of all the above-mentioned public organizations gathered next to the monument to the Russian veterans of the World War I, which is located at the church premises. American and Russian Empire flags were installed at the monument, which was established after the closure of the Society of Russian Veterans in Los Angeles.*

Panikhida wreaths were laid by the initiators of the memorial service and by the descendants of the veterans of the World War I, in particular Elena G. Graf, the granddaughter of Leonid I. Graf, a soldier during the war and leader of the All-Russian Monarchist Front in Los Angeles. Her father, Yuri L. Graf, was a graduate from the Cadet Corps in Yugoslavia, was a member of the Cadet Association and was the Vice-president of the Society of Russian Veterans in Los Angeles. Another wreath was laid by Maria Borisovna, the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Boris Petrovich Esipov, who led the Gallipoli Society in Los Angeles, and by Yevgeny Noskov, the grandson of Colonel Yevgeny Ilich Noskov.

Also, by the efforts of the employees of the Russian Museum-Archive from San Francisco, an exhibition of archival materials from the museum was arranged at the Museum of the Cathedral. Thus, in the year of the 100th anniversary of the end of the World War I, the Russian diaspora remember the valor and courage of the warriors who fought for Faith, for the Tsar and the Fatherland, and all the veterans who died on the battlefields and died in exile, particularly in Los Angeles.

Memory Eternal to the Russian Soldiers of the First World War!

* The Society of Veterans of World War I, one of the very first Russian organizations in Los Angeles, was founded by officers of the Russian Imperial Army in 1925 and existed until the early 2000s. It was closed because that veterans no longer remain in Los Angeles. One of the last Knights of St. George who lived in Los Angeles was Captain Georgy Samsonovich Dumbadze, who died in 1989, and the last veterans of the World War I were the lieutenants: Zyuzin Georgiy Nikolayevich, who died in 1993, and Merkuryev Georgy Vasilievich, who died in 1994.

Ivan Podvalov



Monument to Russian Veterans of the World War I in Los Angeles.

Alla Bobrov, the Warden of Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral, with the descendants of the World War I veterans Mrs. Ekaterina Graf and Mrs. Maria Esipova.

Grandson of Col. E.I. Noskov, Evgeny Noskov with the flag of the Russian Empire.

The head of the Scout squad “Nizhny Novgorod” with the American flag and the Rector of Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral Fr. Nazari Polataiko during panikhida at the monument.