BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is at the forefront of many people’s minds, so much so, leaders in Bluefield, West Virginia, organized a vigil to show support for those in Ukraine.
“The scope of the tragedy is almost unbelievable,” Reverend Lou Hays, Interim Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, said. “10 million people, 25% of the population has lost their homes. They’re gone. They’re displaced or are refugees in other countries.”
Hays called it an unjust war against a sovereign nation, adding it is something we have not seen since the end of World War II in 1945. However, Hays sees a silver lining.
“Our faith tradition, we believe that God called Moses to free god’s people and 3,000 years later, I think, he chose Zelenskyy,” Hays said. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Zelenskyy is a Jew. It’s in his genes to be resistant, to be a fighter, to seek freedom and I think God is calling on President Zelenskyy to lead his people back to freedom.”
In attendance were community members of various backgrounds, including one young woman from Ukraine. She is a student at Bluefield State College and a member of the volleyball team. While she is studying here in West Virginia, her family is back home in Ukraine.
“She’s here. Her family is back home,” Hays said. “Her dad is in Ukraine, her mother and siblings are refugees so our heart goes out to her. She is very fearful for her fathers’ life because he may have to fight the Russian soldiers.”