SOUTH BOUND BROOK, NJ–Central Jersey’s sizable Ukrainian community is coming together with allies to support their homeland in fighting off a military invasion ordered by Russia’s Vladimir Putin regime.
Clergymen and the community gathered at the steps of the St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church along with New Jersey’s Governor and First Lady on the evening of February 28.
The prayer service was held in support of Ukraine and its global communities during the devastating invasion of the Russian Army.
The evening prayer service took place on the front steps of the ended with an address to those in attendance by one of the church’s clergymen.
“Thank you for joining us,” the clergy said to the some hundred guests which included Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy who participated in prayer. “Thank you to the police who are with us today and to the media.”
“God bless the U.S.A. who takes care of the Ukrainian communities… and God bless Ukraine.”
Beautiful singing rung out over Easton Avenue, which was illuminated with the red and blue lights of the police cars as well as the lights of the church.
Police were in the middle of the very busy avenue where cars whizzed past and onlookers stopped to listen and watch.
The service, which included an a cappella performance of prayer song, ended with a prayer as written and translated, chanted in unison by all present: “Героям слава! Heroiam slava! Glory to the heroes!”
As air raids, alerts, attacks and advances continue to happen in Kyiv and throughout the sovereign nation of Ukraine, its citizens are directed to go to the nearest shelter.
Already, over half of a million Ukrainian citizens have fled the country. Hundreds of civilians are dead as well as thousands of soldiers.
Middlesex County and Central Jersey have been home to Ukrainian families and institutions for many generations.
“During the first decades of the twentieth century, a number of immigrants of Ukrainian descent founded a small community in New Brunswick,” according to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, located at 80 Livingston Avenue.
On March 2, the United Nations condemned the invasion by a vote of 141-5. On March 3, an agreement was reached between Russia and Ukraine to cease fire in certain locations and at certain times to facilitate evacuations.
According to The Kyiv Independent, alleged crimes against humanity are under investigation and war crime charges are being considired by the International Criminal Court (ICC), where prosecutor Karim Khan announced he has received referrals from 39 nations.
“I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine in relation to the events already assessed during the preliminary examination by the Office.”
Along the border of Franklin Township and South Bound Brook lies the campus of the St. Andrew Memorial Church and the offices of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is 100 acres large and a sight to behold.
The church itself stands tall illuminated in white light with the orthodox cross seen at the top of the tower which can be seen down Easton Avenue.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA founded in South Bound Brook around the mid-twentieth century in South Bound Brook.
Now the organization is collecting donations for humanitarian aid to be sent to the people of Ukraine.
People can also donate the “Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia,” which asks donors to contribute online or send a check to 810 North Franklin Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123, and write on the check: “Humanitarian Aid Fund for Ukraine,”
Those interested may also send a check to Assumption Catholic Church, or drop it off at their parish office at 684 Alta Vista Place, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861.
Molly O'Brien started writing for New Brunswick Today as a freelance reporter in February 2013.
Molly writes stories on government, arts, free events, bilingual events, education and more.
Molly graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in French Linguistics and Linguistics, where she also studied Writing and Journalism. Molly also graduated Rutgers Law School.
She is open to any suggestions for stories or tips. You may contact her via text at 732-743-8993.