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Vigil to 'express solidarity and concern' for Ukraine takes place Monday in West Chester

Ukrainian flag waves as sun gleams through the fabric with shadowed trees/forest in background.
Max Kukurudziak

A candlelight vigil supporting the people of Ukraine is set for Monday evening in West Chester. The interfaith event will include music and speakers.

"The goal of the event is just to show solidarity for the safety and the sovereignty of the Ukraine people," says Mariann Penska, co-convener of the East Butler County League of Women Voters.

"This is a global travesty of which we have not seen, even in my lifetime," she says. "We have seen support for Ukraine all around the world, even within Russia. Our hearts go out not only to the people who are being invaded in Ukraine, but also those people in Russia who do not agree with the agenda that's being pushed in terms of attacking Ukraine."

Speakers at the vigil include Laura Neack, Ph.d., professor of political science at Miami University, who will speak on "The Fight for Ukraine is the Fight for Democracy;" and Tatiana Liaugminas, teacher of Russian language and literature the University of Dayton. Liaugminas' parents were Ukrainian refugees from the former Soviet Union and she has family who are currently in Kharkiv, one of the hardest hit cities during the ongoing siege. Liaugminas will speak about "Surviving a Nightmare in Kyiv and Kharkiv."

"This vigil is an opportunity for citizens to gather together to express solidarity and concern for the Ukrainian people in a peaceful manner," says Penska.

She also plans to talk about how people can preserve democracy here at home.

Musicians include singer Brian Griffin and the Cincinnati Men's Chorus.

The event is sponsored by the East Butler County League of Women Voters and the Butler and Warren County Democratic parties.

The outdoor vigil is from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, March 7, at the clock tower on The Square at Union Centre in West Chester.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.