Last week, Michael Rosenblum raised the Ukrainian flag in the center of town. On Tuesday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. the native of Kremenchuk, Ukraine, will gather with Verona officials and other Verona residents at the flag to show solidarity with that country as it defends itself against Russia.
Rosenblum came to the U.S. 22 years ago after graduating from college in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. Now an American citizen, Rosenblum recently reflected on what has happened since the Russian Army invaded his native country on February 24. “I recognize how easy it is from this side of the Atlantic ocean to think that Europe in general and Ukraine in particular is really far, far away,” says Rosenblum, whose wife, Elina, is also from Ukraine. “But the biggest thing I’d like to remind everybody: our planet is not a galaxy, it is small, very small. And the proximity of local politics should not overshadow the enormous tragedy happening on the other side of the Earth. I plead for unity between Ukrainian allies. I plead for strong unanimous support of the Ukrainian fight because it is the fight for exactly the same unalienable rights–life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness–as the one fought by American’s founding fathers.”
Rosenblum says that while the initial humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees like clothing, shoes and toys is no longer need, things like medications and medical equipment are in very short supply. If you are able to help, Rosenblum suggests looking at the donation list posted on Amazon by the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Cathedral in Clifton, which has been directing aid to Ukraine since the beginning of the war. The church is open to collect donations on Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“Every action matters, every dollar matters, every prayer matters,” Rosenblum added, “because you just never know what may eventually tilt the balance of this war. Ukrainian people are brave and dedicated, but they are facing a much bigger opponent that doesn’t care about either morality or international laws. Russia has to be stopped here, now; and to make it happen, Ukraine needs your help.”
“And one more time, let’s stay united,” Rosenblum says, before adding the Ukrainian national salute: “Glory to Ukraine.”
On Tuesday, April 26, Michael and Elina Rosenblum will perform Ukrainian songs and poetry as part of the Stand With Ukraine event near Verona Town Hall, beginning at 6:30 p.m.