Local Ukrainian church holds memorial for victims of downed airliner

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The escalating tension between Russia and Ukraine continues to make headlines across the globe especially after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was blown out of the sky on Thursday. Sunday, Ukrainian-Americans in Connecticut came together to remember the innocent lives lost.

St. Michael’s Ukrainian church in New Haven dedicated a portion of its Sunday Mass to remembering the lives lost on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The crash is a reminder for many of how bad things have become in their homeland.

“They’re mothers, they’re fathers, they’re sisters, brothers they belong to someone and I don’t even know who the people were and you want to cry it’s heartbreaking. It should’ve never happened,” said Halia Lodynsky, Bethany.

“And we are just very saddened that this took place on Ukrainian soil,” said Myron Melnyk, New Haven. church memorial

“Even if it happened some place else we would feel bad but because it happened in Ukraine and Putin is blaming Ukraine for it. He does not have enough guts to say his people did it,” said Mary Antonyshyn, Orange.

Sunday’s service even brought out those from different religions.

“To pay my respects to all the people who died on the plane, the babies and everybody,” said Antonette Wright, New Haven.

The growing issues between Ukraine and Russia have been on the minds of many here in Connecticut, especially those who have family and friends living in the region.

Senator Chris Murphy met with a group of Ukrainian-Americans this weekend to discuss their concerns.

“This is getting out of hand and unfortunately it may have taken this awful plane crash to hammer that home for a lot of people,” said Murphy.

Senator Murphy says he plans on talking with European leaders this weekend to make headway on this issue.

“All we want is peace and freedom that’s all we are asking,” said Murphy.

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