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Ralston raises Ukrainian flag on main street in solidarity – WOWT

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – There are Ukrainian flags going up over Ralston’s main street.
The town demonstrates standing shoulder to shoulder with the people fighting to keep their flag flying while Russia invades their country.
“We felt this was a good way to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine something that we can do as a city even though we’re 5,000 miles away from what’s going on,” said Ralston councilmember Brian Kavanaugh.
But the ugly images of war have been in our living rooms, night after night, and flying the Ukrainian flag is the only way for some to fight back.
“I think Putin really underestimated the resolve of the Ukrainian people and underestimated the responses of the west showing support for them, gives them just that little bit of support and the knowledge that the west really does stand with them,” said Kavanaugh.
“As I’ve been watching the stories on the news just the heartbreaking images I wondered what can we do and feel it’s just a small way we can show support for them and what they’re going through,” said Debra Groesser, Debra Joy Groesser Fine Art.
Debra Groesser owns an art shop downtown and she’s hoping these images of support will travel thousands of miles and hopefully give the people of Ukraine some comfort.
“There’s so much on social media that’s being shared and I think the stories getting back to the people that they do have support from all over the world. I think it’s very important to them I wish there was more I could do personally. I think it’s just so important for everybody to take a step back especially as tough as things have been here the last few years everybody just take a step back and appreciate what we have, what we have as a country, what we have as a people,” said Groesser.
Many people in Ralston wanted to show support for the Ukrainian people.
Deneen Badamni owns a flower shop in downtown Ralston and she’s proud of the support Ralston is showing for Ukraine.
“It shows just great support that Ralston has for what the situation is going on in the world today which is horrible,” said Badamni, A Flower Basket.
City councilmember Brian Kavanaugh expects to get some push back, there are some people who believe our country should not get involved with trouble overseas.
“I’m sure they’ll be people who think that but I think the overwhelming majority of people just like the overwhelming majority of Americans so far have expressed support for what we’re doing to help the Ukrainian people.”
Showing support for independence is nothing new in this town. Ralston holds one of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the state.
Celebrating freedom and independence is something they do big in this small town. Its independence Day parade has been going on for decades, reminding those in attendance that we shouldn’t take the freedoms we enjoy for granted.
“It makes me think back to my mom telling stories of growing up in England during WWII during the bombing and my heart just breaks for them I wake up every morning being thankful for what we have.”
City officials say Ralston will display about 80 Ukrainian flags along its main street.
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