Mayor Eric Adams joined Ukrainian Consulate General Oleksii Holubov for a ceremonial act of support in Bowling Green Wednesday afternoon amid the ongoing war in the sovereign Eastern European country.
Hundreds of Ukrainian New Yorkers surrounded Broadway and Morris Street on March 23 to witness Adams and Holubov raise both the star spangled banner and Ukrainian colors in unison. A symbolic show of support, the flags were promised to be flown side by side until the battle ends.
“New York has the largest Ukrainian population outside of Ukraine,” Adams said. “And we’re proud of having that experience. Any conflict that plays out on a global scale plays out on the streets of New York City, the bombs that are bursting keep on breaking our hearts here in New York and throughout our entire country. And today, the raising of the flag is also to raise the energy in the spirit of the Ukrainian people to know that we are united together.”
Amidst the rainfall, the officials joked that Ukrainians are bulletproof, so a little bit water won’t hurt. They also emphasized the sheer resiliency Ukrainians have shown during these dark and horrific days. Their strength has been exhibited through their numerous patriotic and selfless acts, from news about 16-year-old Katherina shielding her eight-year-old brother from gunfire to teachers tearfully taking up arms to defend against the invasion.
In Lower Manhattan, Holubov declared that the flag will not only fly until the war is over but until Ukraine is victorious.
“We are sacrificing our lives in the name of the future. That is why today the American people are helping not just Ukraine, but your world to keep the planet alive,” Holubov said.
Several members of the crowd began weeping as the mayor, fellow elected officials, and Ukrainian dignitaries began raising the flags to the sound of the embattled country’s national anthem.
According to event organizers, Bowling Green was chosen to host this symbolic ceremony since it is the only location in New York City where flags from around the globe are raised.