GLEN SPEY, NY — A sense of community, whether Ukrainian or not, was palpable at the community rally in support of Ukraine on Friday, March 4. Held at the Lumberland Town Hall, a community …
GLEN SPEY, NY — A sense of community, whether Ukrainian or not, was palpable at the community rally in support of Ukraine on Friday, March 4. Held at the Lumberland Town Hall, a community where approximately 11 percent of the population—1,500 residents—call themselves Ukrainians.
More than 70 people—elected officials, schoolchildren and community members—gathered in solidarity.
People started to pour into the town hall at 3:45 p.m. for the event, which was slated to start at 4 p.m. Despite the severity of the situation, everyone attending was very cordial and approachable. It wasn’t far from a hug-fest.
Most people were waving Ukrainian and American flags that had been passed out to all comers. The rally was held outside, behind the town hall. It was a very cold afternoon but the warmth of the rally negated the chilly winter afternoon.
Keynote speaker Nadia Rajsz, Sullivan County legislator for District 2, which encompasses Lumberland, Forestburgh and parts of Highland and Mamakating, started the rally with a passionate speech.
“As a country, we need to step up against this man [Putin]. I won’t call him a president since he wasn’t elected; he’s taking us back to a world war. This man is crazy and has his finger on a nuclear button. What is his goal? Leveling cities?” Rajsz said.
“What is next, Poland?” she pointedly questioned. “We still haven’t done enough; where are the planes in the sky? We have to stop Russian aggression in the Ukraine now.”
The rally had a slightly impromptu feel to it as speakers, who had not planned to speak, were pressed into service. In that space, people spoke from their hearts. A spirit of sincerity and supportive feeling radiated from those in attendance.
The Rev. Bob Everett expressed that he was sickened by the news coming out of Ukraine and the atrocities happening to innocent people. He then led the crowd through a touching prayer. Everyone lowered their heads in a prayer for the citizens of the Ukraine. The feeling of love and compassion tempered with sadness permeated throughout.
New York State Sen. Mark Martucci, as well as Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, were present. Martucci announced that New York legislators are making sure that “the state of New York will not be doing business with Russia any more.” He particularly called out that the New York State Pension Fund would divest its interest in any Russian company. He urged other state legislatures to follow suit. Gunther called the invasion “inhumane” and said that the United States needed to do more.
The crowd cheered through all the speeches and there was, understandably, a solemnness to the event.
District attorney Meagan Galligan summed up the sentiment when she said, “Even though those of us who don’t have ancestry there stand with you. And we want our children to stand with you.”
You can donate for humanitarian help for Ukraine by making a transfer from a payment card of any bank from anywhere in the world.
Transfer to the National Bank of Ukraine: https://bank.gov.ua/en/about/support-the-armed-forces.
Another way to donate to humanitarian aid for Ukraine is to send a check to Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Ukrainian Church, P.O. Box 178, Glen Spey, NY 12737 or on Facebook at https://bit.ly/3CmuHHw.
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