With the country of Ukraine still bravely battling against a Russian invasion, residents of Brandon are invited to join the world in showing solidarity and support.
This Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, the one-year anniversary of the start of the invasion, Brandon will once again host a community march and rally. The march is based on a similar one that was held in early March 2022 and will once again begin at Brandon University and go to Brandon City Hall.
Starting at 5:30 p.m. at the BU campus, the university will raise a flag of Ukraine. After a few brief remarks, the march will head to Brandon City Hall, for a short program of speeches, and for the flag of Ukraine to be raised there as well.
“The continuing support from the Brandon and Westman community for Ukraine has been so important and so special,” said Ukrainian community president Vasyl Marchuk.
“For the last year, the heroic Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Ukrainian people have stood united in defense of freedom in Europe athwart Russia’s genocidal onslaught. With their courage and determination the Ukrainian people inspire the world,” stated Alexandra Chyczij, National President of the UCC. “To mark 365 days of Ukraine’s resilience against Russia’s genocidal war– join us on February 24 to show that all Canadians Stand With Ukraine!”
Everyone is invited to join the march and show their support for Ukraine. You are invited to bring candles — especially blue and yellow candles, the colours of Ukraine — to march with. The event will coincide with many others happening the same day across Canada and around the world.
“With Brandon home to many Ukrainians, we once again gather as a community to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine both at home and abroad against the Russian invasion, said City of Brandon Mayor Jeff Fawcett. “This anniversary march will be a demonstration that our resolve continues. We are proud to stand with our community to show the enduring support for the people of Ukraine.”
At least year’s march, BU President David Docherty announced new measures to support university students fleeing the conflict, including alternate admissions for those unable to access their documents, eased deadlines, and waived fees. These supports have now also been extended to any displaced person who is otherwise eligible to attend BU. Three new Ukrainian students have since started classes at BU, with close to a dozen more who have been officially admitted but who have not yet been able to attend.
“One of the biggest smiles I’ve seen all year was when I met our first incoming Ukrainian student, Andrii, as he was being given a tour around the BU campus,” Docherty recalled. “I keep that moment close as a reminder that the grim news from Ukraine will not last, and that our support hastens the day that all smiles can return to the faces of all Ukraine.”