Supporters gather during candlelight vigil for Ukraine

More than 100 people came together at the Lynnwood City Hall Thursday evening to support Ukraine and its people. The mood was subdued, with people wearing blue and yellow ribbons on their chests. Some wore sunflowers, a bright symbol of Ukraine’s quest for peace and its bold resistance.

Speakers drove home that this gathering was not political. “This vigil is not about us. It is not about politics. It is about the Ukrainian community. About supporting each other,” said Lynnwood Council Member Julieta Altamirano-Crosby.

The community has already been welcoming new Ukrainian residents. Van Dinh-Kuno, Executive Director of Refugee and Immigrant Services Northwest, said: “In the last two weeks, we have had over 50 people arrive here (from Ukraine). Their children have signed up with the Edmonds School District. Please open your arms and your hearts and support our Ukrainian people.”

Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell said, “The City of Lynnwood commits to supporting Ukrainians living in our community and who may choose to come by offering our solidarity, our support, and our connection to resources.”

Following the speakers, candles were given out and people bowed their heads in prayer.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, four million people have fled the country, with another 10 million displaced within its borders.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as of March 30, there have been 1,232 civilian deaths and 1,935 injured in Ukraine. Between 2,000 to 4,000 Ukrainian military personnel have been killed.

The rally was hosted by The Image Church and the City of Lynnwood.

— Story and photos by David Carlos

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