NJ shows support for Ukraine with lights, tweets, vigils, rallies
Strong support for Ukraine amid Russian aggression under the command of Russian President Vladmir Putin has been shown across New Jersey — with state landmarks lit in the European nation’s colors, rallies and the discovery of mutual Twitter recognition.
Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion, was lit up in support of Ukraine as Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted a photo, adding “We stand with the Ukrainian people as they fight to defend their freedom and independence.”
The “Trenton Makes World Takes” bridge also has been lit in Ukrainian colors until March, as shared to Instagram by photographer Dennis Symons and reported by MidJersey News.
Ukraine and NJ: Twitter friends
As more global citizens seek out verified information straight from Ukraine, some Twitter users discovered that the nation holds New Jersey in high enough regard to make it the only U.S. account it follows, among two dozen or so foreign nations.
New Jersey's official Twitter account, as followed by Ukraine, is in the elite company of such countries as Canada, Poland, Great Britain, Lithuania, Australia, Israel, Sweden, Japan, Ireland, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Nigeria, Crimea, Finland, Armenia, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Kazakstan.
When pointed out, the Ukraine account tweeted it was "Cauz they're cool."
New Jersey's Twitter account likewise follows Ukraine, among more than 750 accounts of varying local and national notoriety.
Prayer vigils and rallies
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is headquartered in South Bound Brook, with eight parishes across New Jersey.
A prayer vigil was slated for Monday evening, organized by the Spiritual Center - Metropolia at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church in Somerset, along Easton Avenue, according to its website.
A separate rally was being promoted on Facebook for Sunday late afternoon in Metuchen, as "Stand with Ukraine: Gathering of Support."
On Saturday, a Freehold rally was held outside the office of U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, as dozens of residents of Ukrainian descent urged for more resources to the European country under attack and also supported a "no-fly zone" over Ukraine.
Smith did address the crowd at one point, as reported by Asbury Park Press, and said that he believes Putin should be declared a war criminal, among other efforts.
“Complete and total ban on the import of Russian oil, a signaling out of Putin as a war criminal, and to demand that the Security Council in the United Nations makes a referral to the (International Criminal Court) and indict him,” Smith said, according to the same report.
A “no-fly zone,” which would mean military engagement with Russian troops above the Ukraine, has been all but ruled out by the 30 member nations of NATO.
“NATO would have to effectively declare war on Russia because that’s what you would do,” British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Friday, as reported by Politico.
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell stopped by St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Passaic on Sunday and shared photos on Twitter.
"The Ukrainian people are strong. They are resilient. And they will overcome this illegal invasion by Russia," Pascrell tweeted.
Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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