Commemoration, Mobilization, Politics
In the interwar period the Poles, exercising their rights as winners, formed the heroic image of the city and its defenders. Lviv was awarded the Virtuti Militari order, a monumental Cemetery of the Defenders of Lviv was arranged at the Lychakivskyi cemetery and a monument to the defenders of Lviv was erected at Persenkivka, not in the last place as a compensation for the lost status of the capital city. For the Ukrainians, the only legal opportunity to declare their attitude to these events were cemeteries and churches.
The main places of memory were military cemeteries, where soldiers of the both armies were marked as those who "died for their homeland". However, the semantic content was different: on the Polish part it was about the military victory and dominance, while on the Ukrainian part it was about sacrifice in the unequal struggle.
In the Soviet period, the history of November 1918 was not merely ignored; virtually all meaningful traces of the "heroic history" were destroyed or deliberately neglected.
With the collapse of the USSR and the popularization of the non-Soviet version of the past, these events became relevant again. This logically led to tension in the Ukrainian-Polish relations and the confrontation of commemorative practices.
The desire of the Polish side to fully restore the Cemetery of the Defenders of Lviv (the inscription "to those who died in the battles for Poland", the Szczerbiec sword) quite naturally met with the opposition of the Ukrainians, being perceived as a territorial claim. The opening of the restored "Cemetery of the Eaglets" in 2005 (simultaneously with the opening of the memorial to the UHA soldiers) with the participation of the presidents of Poland and Ukraine did not put an end to the contradiction. For example, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine had to protest against the placement of an image of the rotunda from the "Cemetery of the Eaglets" in the Polish passport.
In the Ukrainian narrative, the events of November 1918 became so relevant that two monuments (not counting smaller memorial signs and plaques) were erected at the same time, their opening timed to the 100th anniversary of the November Action.