Scene nearby: Thousands rally in support of Ukraine

Over a thousand people and counting, all converging to a spot at the base of the Space Needle Saturday. They are here to  rally around their home country, Ukraine, which is under siege by Russia.

The mood is not festive, not tearful. Just above somber.
A light sprinkle of rain wets the signs: “Support Ukraine,” “Stand with Ukraine,” “Stop Putin.”
The crowd forms a circle around a “Stop War” banner. And everywhere there are the bold blue and yellow colors of Ukraine, some draped around people. I tell myself that even though I’m Asian, I’m one of them in spirit.
A young man opens the event by playing the Ukrainian national anthem on his saxophone, followed by America’s  national anthem.  I spot some in the crowd with their hands over their hearts.
I see the saxophone player afterward and ask him, “What do you want the world to know by you being here?”
He said, “Just to be honest with you. Take the situation seriously. Because a lot of people think that everything’s gonna be all right. But we need to take things serious. I’m a refugee from Gorlovka. My hometown was occupied by Russia in 2014. And I saw war. I was 16 at that time. And I’m gonna tell you one thing:  There’s nothing worse than war. Nothing worse than war. Trust me. Believe in God, and just do everything that’s possible to stop an aggressor from invading your country. It’s worth it; trust me.” His words hit me, and I start tearing.  

I walk to my car, and people are still coming toward me with banners and signs, trying to participate and hoping not to be late.

— Story and photos by David Carlos

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