WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Tuesday night in Warren, Ukrainian Americans held a candlelight vigil to remember victims of the war and celebrate their independence.
At St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church, it was a somber yet resilient crowd. Many in attendance have loved ones in Ukraine, which is now approaching six months of fighting.
“The most difficult six months in the life of every Ukrainian,” said Fr. Daniel Schaicoski, pastor of Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Hamtramck.
On Wednesday, Ukranians will celebrate 31 years of independence from the Soviet Union. But six months ago to the day, Russia invaded.
“If Russia is in Ukraine, there is no peace. They have to get out of there. That's just how it is,” Schaicoski said.
Ukrainian American veterans were on hand setting a wreath in memory of lives lost while local Ukrainian religious leaders led prayers for them and all of Ukraine.
“That's the best way of celebrating Ukraine’s independence is to pray for us to defeat the beast from the east,” Schaicoski said.
As Ukraine continues its fight against Russia, Ukrainians in America will continue to show support, hoping next year will truly be Independence Day once again.
Another event to mark this important date will be held Wednesday in downtown Detroit at Hart Plaza. That rally runs from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.