Binghamton community shines light on war-torn country this Independence Day of Ukraine

As the Ukrainian flag was raised at Binghamton’s City Hall on Wednesday, songs of the war-torn country rang out in observance of Independence Day of Ukraine.
Ukraine Flag
Ukraine Flag(Maci Cosmore)
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 6:04 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- As the Ukrainian flag was raised at Binghamton’s City Hall on Wednesday, songs of the war-torn country rang out in observance of Independence Day of Ukraine.

“Although it sounds festive out here, it’s really sad with what the Russians are doing in Ukraine,” said Ukrainian American Veterans Post 46 Commander Michael Dobranski.

Wednesday, Aug. 24 marks six months since Russia’s attack on Ukraine began, and the community wants to make sure their struggle isn’t forgotten.

“Today we are commemorating not only the independence of the 31 years, but also all of the people who are currently fighting,” said Father Teodor Czabala, a Pastor at Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church. “We’re praying for them and all of the people who are currently fighting. We’re praying for them and all of the innocents who are suffering because of this and also all of the ones who have died and passed away. All the innocent people who didn’t ask for this, didn’t look for it, and the soldiers who are protecting them and were protecting them.”

Since the start of the war, millions have lost their homes, families, friends and lives, and dozens are continuing to flee while heading to communities with open arms.

“I’m overjoyed really, but it doesn’t take a way the sadness of what’s happening in Ukraine,” Dobranski said. “Thousands and thousands raped, thousands of women, girls and children killed. They’ve displaced six million people throughout Europe.”

At the end of the day, Dobranski said it’s about supporting our neighbors both near and far.

“Russians have said their objective is to wipe Ukraine off the map,” he said. “Moreover, they want to eradicate the Ukrainian nationality. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s genocide.”