Latvian church brings Milwaukee-area residents collectively to rally for peace in Ukraine | WUWM 89.7 FM

Amid the continuing horror of Russia’s assault on Ukraine — together with the bombing of a maternity hospital, individuals within the Milwaukee space stepped up Wednesday in solidarity with the beleaguered nation.

About 100 individuals gathered at a Latvian church in Wauwatosa to march for peace.

Church board president Andrei Junge welcomed individuals Wednesday afternoon and urged them to heat themselves inside Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Holy Trinity Church earlier than the march started.

Junge mentioned his church felt compelled to do one thing in regards to the assault on Ukraine. Each Latvia and Ukraine have suffered beneath Russian and Soviet occupation for a lot of the twentieth century.

“Final Wednesday, loads of the Ukrainian church members from the south aspect came to visit right here for Ash Wednesday service and we began speaking to them and determined we have to do one thing. We’ve been the place Ukraine is, and we worry we’re subsequent except Russia stops,” he mentioned.

Latvia just isn’t Ukraine’s instant neighbor to the north. Belarus and Lithuania lie between.

Junge mentioned his household has recognized the phobia of warfare. “I’ve lived right here all my life, I’m first technology. My mother truly was born in a displaced particular person’s camp in Germany, escaping World Struggle II and my dad, I feel, was 4 years previous when his dad and mom escaped,” he defined.

Attendees gathered contained in the church earlier than the march started.

Contained in the church, individuals milled about — holding Ukrainian flags and balloons bearing its colours, blue and yellow.

Others sat at a desk making do-it-yourself indicators proclaiming “No Extra Struggle” and “Nyet to Russia.”


Some individuals made their very own indicators whereas others carried flags or balloons.

One member of Milwaukee’s Latvian neighborhood mentioned, “We’re all Ukranians now.” A school scholar added there was no query, he wanted to be a part of the rally — his grandparents needed to flee Ukraine throughout World Struggle II.

One other particular person got here from Mequon. Whereas neither Latvian nor Ukrainian, she was able to share her perspective however her phrases had been misplaced to tears.

Joseph Spolowicz helped lead the march because the Ukrainian neighborhood’s official consultant. He’s parish council vp of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church on the south aspect of Milwaukee.

“My household arrived from Germany in 1956 they usually ended up in Germany as [displaced persons] from Ukraine. They had been taken as pressured laborers throughout World Struggle II after which after that, from Germany we got here to the USA,” he mentioned.

Spolowicz mentioned now the unimaginable is occurring, Ukraine’s freedom is disappearing with the snap of a finger.


Joseph Spolowicz (middle) and Lauma Zusevics (proper) addressed the gang earlier than the march started.

“I’ve associates in Irpin who fled the nation. Irpin is just about decimated. They needed to flee and simply choose up and go. They drove to a village the place they thought would have much less missile assaults over there,” he defined.

Spolowicz believes each doable useful resource must be put collectively to cease the destruction of lives and democracy. “We’d like some assist defending the air area round Ukraine, I feel Ukraine must entered within the European Union. I perceive there are guidelines … however this isn’t odd scenario. Convey in additional assist. Nobody needs a nuclear warfare that is why now we have to get that madman out of there,” he mentioned.

The solar shone shiny exterior as Lauma Zušēvics addressed the gang from the steps of the church. She’s archbishop of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Worldwide.

“The world has not been silenced — thank God — it should not develop complacent however ever extra compassionate because the brave Ukrainian individuals defend the land they love, the liberty they won’t give up. Our hearts and our prayers are with them and with you right here from the Ukrainian neighborhood in Milwaukee as you watch for information about your loved ones members in Ukraine because the warfare continues. We pray in your power. We are going to proceed to be right here with you and for you, and we hope the brutal, unprovoked assaults in your land cease,” Zušēvics mentioned.

The church bells tolled because the marchers walked ahead.


Once they reached the intersection of North and Wauwatosa Avenues, the marchers scattered to all 4 corners, as passing automobiles sounded their horns in respect.

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