Approximately 150 residents attended a rally at Marina Park in Comox Friday evening, to recognize the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and to celebrate Ukraine’s resilience.
There was singing, speeches, and tears, as newcomers to the Comox Valley who fled their homeland spoke about leaving everything they had behind, and wondering aloud whether they would ever see their homes again.
The one overriding theme of the one-hour rally was that of resilience – be it the resilience of the soldiers fighting to keep Ukraine intact, or the resilience of those who have come to the Comox Valley, dealing with hardships with which most Canadians are unfamiliar.
Comox Mayor Nicole Minions was on hand, ensuring the town will continue to do everything it can to welcome the newcomers, and Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard also spoke, telling the crowd the government understands the pressures communities are in when it comes to affordable living arrangements for those fleeing war-torn countries.
A recently-formed Ukrainian choir entertained with a few songs, and the yellow and blue tones of the Ukrainian flag could be seen scattered throughout the crowd, be it on proper flags, hardhats, or even doggie jackets.
Similar rallies were held throughout the country on Feb. 24.
While accurate death toll numbers are unattainable, it is estimated as many as 200,000 Russian troops have been killed or injured. Ukrainian numbers are similar in total, although Ukrainian casualties include as many as 30,000 civilians.
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