On February 24 erica and I walked to Bar Gate in the city centre and joined a peace vigil. The next day she wrote on social media the following:
We joined the candlelight procession last night and then, during a vigil in the city center, stood, spoke with, and listened to Ukrainians who have fled their homes since the start of the invasion. At the end, as everyone sang the Ukrainian national anthem, I thought of what it must be like for those who’ve had to make their home in a new country, losing and leaving behind loved ones. Over the past year I’ve been in contact with Kostya, who some of you may remember as the exchange student who lived with my family during high school. While he has remained in his country, his family has been split apart by the conflict as some members sought safety abroad. The city where he worked was invaded and under Russian control until it was liberated in November. A year ago, when he first said the most important thing we could do to help was to speak out about Putin’s aggression, I admit that didn’t seem like much. I tried to focus on active assistance, like donations and monetary support to organizations working inside the country or refugees crossing the border. Standing in solidarity and witness also seems important but not enough. Today, I was reminded how easily even Americans will buy into Putin’s propaganda. We all know how sad, infuriating, and futile it feels in the age of Tr*mp to try to counter the views of people utterly convinced of disinformation with facts of reality. But, there is still such a thing as truth and it is that Putin sent his forces into an independent country and has viciously destroyed entire cities, homes, schools, hospitals, businesses, energy and transportation infrastructure, and murdered, terrorized, abducted, and disrupted the lives of millions of Ukrainian people.So, please, continue to support the Ukrainian people and encourage others who are sympathetic– your family, and friends– to as well. There are loads of NGOs on the ground doing critical work. And most significantly, voice your support to your representatives in government for the humanitarian aid and defense of Ukraine.