AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In the latest local sign of solidarity with Ukraine as the Russian invasion continues, well over a hundred people attended a candlelight vigil in Amsterdam Tuesday evening. The event featured several speakers, including members of the local Ukrainian community.
“Thank you, and I will say in Ukraine, Glory to Ukraine and glory to the hero. I will say, Slava Ukraini, Heroyam Slava. Thank you,” said Vira Dyakiv.
Crowds of people gathered near the pedestrian bridge over the Mohawk River to express their support for the people of Ukraine as the war rages on, a sign of unity commended by members of the city’s Ukrainian community. “For me, you love. I still have Mom in Ukraine. Just maybe I’m lucky because she’s by the Polish border, which is still quiet, but you never know,” said Dyakiv, thanking people across the world who have condemned Russia’s actions.
Amsterdam Mayor Mike Cinquanti says the candlelight vigil is yet another instance of the city coming together to show their support for one another, “I’m proud of our city, I’m proud of our Ukrainian community. What’s going on in Ukraine is horrible, it’s a travesty to humanity. This is the least we can do.”
People attending Tuesday’s event came with bags of supplies and money to benefit the people of Ukraine. One local philanthropist also presented a $10,000 check to help humanitarian efforts as refugees continue fleeing the country.
Local Ukrainians say they’ll continue to fight until the war is won. “Ukrainians are strong. They will stay on the knee just when they pray to God, when they propose marriage. They will never stay in knee for Russian occupation,” Dyakiv explained.
Tuesday’s candlelight vigil concluded with an emotional rendition of the Ukrainian national anthem, performed by Dyakiv, who also spoke to those who came out about the ongoing situation in Eastern Europe.
The city is asking anyone interested to donate money online.