One year since invasion: City of Charleston honors Ukraine
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston city hall lit up in yellow and blue Friday night as city leaders, pastors and Ukraine activists spoke at the “365 days defending freedom” vigil in honor of Ukraine.
Just one year ago, Russia attacked the country of Ukraine, igniting a war and leaving tens of thousands of people dead or injured.
The bells chimed at St. Michael’s Church for a total of 72 seconds to honor over 7,000 lives lost in the war to kick off the vigil.
“Ukraine’s freedom has not yet parished,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said. “Nor has her glory.”
The vigil continued with remarks and prayers by several pastors, including Rev. Randy Shirley, the associate to the rector and chief of staff at St. Michael’s Church.
“The blue and yellow flag of Ukraine,” Shirley said. “It represents more than just the blue skies over the vast land and the yellow for the grain growing in the wheat fields below. These colors are an international symbol of solidarity of the hope in the fight for liberty.”
One professor at the College of Charleston says by Europe replenishing their military supplies and training their soldiers in the United States, American businesses have benefited, and our safety has improved.
CHS4Ukraine, a nonprofit that supports Ukrainian war efforts, says they have sent over 20,000 pounds of humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the last year. They have even hosted ten Ukrainian soldiers in our city within the last week.
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“A year later, people still care because we live in such a beautiful place it’s very easy to forget about the war,” Anna Spann, the secretary for CHS4Ukraine, said. “One of the things that the soldiers told me this week when I asked him, ‘What do you think about Charleston?’ They said, ‘It’s so wonderful. I don’t even think about the fact that my friends are dying this minute. But they are.’”
Kenneth Marolda, CHS4Ukraine treasurer, says his organization is going to continue supporting and sending aid to Ukraine.
“Other Americans who don’t share that value may have other reasons,” Marolda said. “And I think that’s very important to remember as well that we each, every single one of us, has a reason to want to help. Or should have a reason to want to help if we recognize it.”
Tecklenburg says it is important to continue supporting Ukraine through local organizations and inspire others to do likewise.
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