CHATHAM, N.Y.(NEWS10) – New York State landmarks lighting up in blue and yellow again tonight, marking one year since Russia’s deadly invasion of Ukraine. People from all over the Capital Region gathering in Chatham for a vigil for the somber milestone.
Nearly 40 people joined together in the village of Chatham’s Depot Square to show their support for the war-torn country of Ukraine by holding a vigil in solidarity.
The Russian invasion has been condemned by the United Nations, people around the world and by many here at home in the Capital Region.
Friday night’s vigil was held in part by Albany New York in Solidarity with Ukraine, a group of Capital District residents who are appalled by the Russian military invasion and occupation of Ukrainian cities.
Co-sponsor Michael Richardson of Rivers and Mountains Green Faith says people need to stand up.
“Whenever you know that some harm is being caused anywhere in the world it is our responsibility to stand and say, no war, no more,” said Richardson.
Co-sponsor Wendy Dwyer says supporters were urged to bring small flashlights.
“We are standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and keeping (holding) them in the light on this commemoration of the illegal, horrific invasion of their country by Russia,” said Dwyer.
A local woman who was born in Ukraine knows the impact of the war very well, communicating with loved ones in her homeland and keeping close contact decades after she came to America.
“I still have family there so I have my hands on the pulse there so I can say Ukraine is very thankful to all the support and it feels the support is growing,” said Olena Lake.
Olena sharing her conversation from earlier in the day with members of Ukraine’s armed forces and the impact of events like this vigil, even if they’re half a world away.
“This morning I was communicating with soldiers with the Battalion Commanders, and they say it’s very important for us to feel the people are standing with us. It gives them strength,” said Lake.
Richardson says this war can be ended and that it takes support from across the world to do so.
“Most important that we come together as a people to stand with a sound statement of the moral imperative to stop war,” said Richardson.