HARRISBURG, Pa. — A unity rally in Harrisburg on Friday aimed to show solidarity with Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion of the country.
The ralliers waved many different flags as they marched down Derry Street, but carried a single message: the world stands behind Ukraine.
Vlada Prymak, a Ukrainian-American woman who now lives in the Hershey area, spoke on the need to support Ukraine right now.
“We would like the world to hear us because Ukraine is not alone,” she said.
Prymak expressed that she felt proud but also scared for her birth country.
“I am from Kyiv," she said. "My city, my beautiful city, where I was born, where my family is, where my mom is right now. Right now this city is bombed. Bombed.”
The event was organized by the Latino Hispanic American Community Center (LHACC).
“We embrace all faces of the community and today our heart goes out to Ukraine,” said executive director Gloria Merrick.
Ralliers also used the occasion to raise awareness about other ongoing wars, including the civil war that has embroiled South Sudan on and off since 2013.
Hagir Elsheikh, who escaped political violence in the country, now advocates for human rights. She also founded Tomorrow’s Smile, a nonprofit focused on domestic violence.
“A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow brothers in Ukraine, with our fellow brothers and sisters in Sudan, and we all have to do our part,” Elsheikh said.
Through events like the unite rally, organizers said, the Ukrainian people can see that Americans, though far away, are with them in spirit and in their hope for peace.