An interfaith vigil for Ukraine was held last night at Bayonne City Hall, which came a few hours after the city announced they would be collecting and donating necessities as their war with Russia wages on.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
“The people of Ukraine are fighting to preserve their democracy, freedom, and independence. More than a million Ukrainians have fled their homes. They are living in bomb shelters, subways, and refugee camps. We all know the world is in a troubled place right now,” Mayor Jimmy Davis said during the ceremony.
“Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Right now, we cannot, cannot, allow this to happen. We’re starting here in Bayonne; it’s everywhere else. The world needs to get together to stop this. It’s the only way we can do this is if everybody stands together and stands for Ukraine. This is the only it’s going to work.”
Davis also directed some remarks at Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We all, no matter who you are, where you are, we all need to stand together and stand up to one bully, let him know we’re not going to allow this to happen.”
The mayor referenced that some historians have said the rise of Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, could have been stopped before the advent of World War II.
“Look down with mercy and compassion on your house servants. Help us, oh God, our savior, and deliver the land of Ukraine,” said Pastor Vasyl Putera of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption/Dormition.
He said for people to “ask for God to bless those who fought in defense of Ukraine. Bless them with great courage.”
“We pray for the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia for their countries and their leaders,” Sister Lecia Nichols of Wallace Temple AME Zion Church added.
She called for peace and quoted the Bible.
“We stand in a space where pain is deeply etched in the souls of innocent people, and the lives of millions of Ukrainians have been delayed, disrupted, and destroyed,” Nicholas stated.
“Our presence here speaks to our unity. We must stand together and stand up for one another and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless violence.”
City council members also spoke as part of the program.
“It’s a travesty. It’s awful, innocent lives being lost and ruined. The world has to come together and defend Ukraine,” said Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski, a declared mayoral challenger.
“I’m very happy we were able to do this. As a history teacher, I hold fast the idea a threat to freedom anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere. So, we stand with Ukraine,” 1st Ward Councilman Neil Carroll noted.
Their collection drive is seeking clothes, first aid supplies, baby clothes, diapers, sleeping bags, pillows, food, water, toothpaste, hygiene products, and soap.
A trailer parked in front of Bayonne City Hall is serving as a collection depot where people can drop off items and will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and then from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m. on Saturday.