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Vigil held at Denver's Babi Yar Memorial Park for Ukrainians killed in invasion

Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-27 19:51:47-04

DENVER — Dozens of people attended a vigil Sunday afternoon at Denver's Babi Yar Memorial Park to remember those killed as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine.

"There is a genocide in [the] 21st century going [on] right now while we stand in here," Marina Dubrova, president of Ukrainians of Colorado, said.

The park, completed in 1982, memorializes the thousands of Jewish people and Ukrainians killed in World War II in the Babi Yar ravine of Kyiv.

"[The] historical pain Ukrainians and Jewish people have together has started long, long, long time ago," Dubrova said.

This month, that ravine was the target of Russian missiles.

"I think that's just ungodly. I mean, who would do that, you know? You're killing these people all over again. Let them rest in peace," Tetyana Hansen said.

She left Ukraine when she was 20 years old, but some of her family still remains.

"Their city is about to be attacked," Hansen said. "They're sleeping in bathtubs and corridors and hallways and doorways. We're just praying for them."

She says seeing the support in Denver, even from those with no connection to her home country, is amazing.

"I took a bunch of pictures. I'm going to send them to my family in Ukraine and show them that even here in this, you know, a small town, you know, on the other side of the world, there are still people supporting them," Hansen said.

District 4 Council Member Kendra Black says she helped organize Sunday's event at the park, which is in her district, because she wanted to give those who feel helpless a chance to do something.

"I think a lot of Americans want to help support Ukraine, and they don't know what to do. And I think these kinds of gatherings are really important for people to come together and connect and actually learn ways that they can help people.

Now, the park, known to commemorate the victims of one tragedy, has sadly found another purpose.