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'There are still skies in Ukraine.' Lexington vigil goers cling to hope for a nation and its uncommon resolve

Lexington glowed yellow and blue Wednesday night as the city took a stand for the people of Ukraine amid ongoing attacks by Russian forces.

It was around 6 pm in Lexington as the crowd took shape on the courthouse plaza. But 5,000 miles away...

"A seven-hour difference, therefore it's night there right now," a one-time Ukrainian refugee said in his native language with an English translator. "So the Russians are bombing the cities right now as the people try to sleep."

A sobering reminder from an American who once fled the Soviet Union of just how different the scenes playing out on a pleasant March night in downtown Lexington are from those in a country fighting for its very survival.

Ukraine Peace Vigil

With hundreds looking on, some draped in Ukrainian flags and others waving signs, Mayor Linda Gorton said Ukraine has shown a resolve that should make all of us reflect on what we would do in their shoes.

"So many of us don't exactly know how we would react if a massive army started marching toward our city, but I would hope we would do the same."
Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton

With City Center lit in the Ukrainian colors in the backdrop, the crowd heard heart-wrenching reminders of the stark choices facing Ukrainians, along with prayers for the safety and survival of the nation. Despite the violence unfolding, several speakers still sounded a hopeful note — with one adding, "There are still skies in Ukraine."

Updated: March 2, 2022 at 10:02 PM EST
Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.