Community Rallies for Ukraine
Sunday afternoon people started gathering on the Town Green well in advance of the advertised start time of the “Rally for Ukraine and Democracy.”
Blue and yellow everywhere – the colors of the Ukrainian flag. There were people of all ages.
The rally was organized by several families in Davidson who are of Ukrainian descent and have family members in Ukraine. Greg Snyder welcomed the crowed and invited Davidson chaplain Ivan Mayerhofer to open with a time of reflection.
George Husk talked about the strength of the Ukrainian people while his wife, Aimee Symington, reflected on the fact that if they were in Ukraine George and their 18-year-old son would be fighting in the war.
Motria Procyk told personal stories of staying in touch with relatives.
Davidson professor Amanda Ewington, Chair of the Russian Studies department, provided historical context. She stated that Russia’s actions were an unprovoked attack on neighboring Ukraine. She was followed by Professor Besir Ceka, associate professor of Political Science, who specializes in European politics and international relations. He emphasized the moral clarity of this war, where there is a clear line between right and wrong.
State Senator Natasha Marcus noted her role as being the “voice” of our community. She shared information of things going on at the state level, including the governor’s actions to halt all state business with Russia. Her comment that it included the halt of all Russian vodka sales at state ABC stores drew a round of applause and vocal support. Marcus also reminded the crowd that personnel from Fort Bragg had deployed to Poland in support of NATO’s efforts.
Next, Ruby Houston read a letter of support from U.S. Congresswoman Alma Adams. She highlighted the resilience of the Ukrainian people – from the service members on Snake Island to the “everyday people to blue collar and white collar” who have left their jobs to take up arms.
Those gathered on The Green had the opportunity to make donations to local Ukrainian groups sending support to relief agencies helping refugees. They also had the chance to sample Ukrainian culinary delicacies.
The most striking part of the rally was a call for people to join in singing the Ukrainian national anthem. What started with several people on the steps of the library became a group that continued to grow. By the close of the anthem, more than a dozen people of Ukrainian heritage were singing the anthem.
The event represented the best of our community, coming together in solidarity for neighbors who are experiencing this war personally. The rally ended with a benediction by Rev. Peter Henry, and a call to stand resolute with Ukraine.