MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On Saturday, Ukrainian Americans, friends and supporters stood together for the first-year anniversary of the Russian invasion beginning the war in Ukraine. A rally in East Memphis sought to remind people that the fight is not over.
Alexander Bokov is one of many Ukrainian refugees.
"My family and I were in Ukraine on the first day," Bokov said. "I was lucky to evacuate my family. Then, I stayed for a few months to help people to get to the border and evacuate them."
Bokov said it's "pretty hard to believe" the war is still happening. Others at the rally also have family and friends that are back home in Ukraine.
"My mother; my daddy, my brother, my niece are still there so of course I am very worried about them," Iryna Ushkolnko said. "It divided my life into two pieces — a happy past and a future where you don't know what is going to be and what will be with my country."
Mariia Feducrhek is a Ukrainian dance teacher who attended the rally.
"The first bombing was literally so close to us," Feducrhek said.
Still, Feducrhek said "nothing is impossible."
"I got married during the war," she said.
Ushkolnko has a message about her hopes.
"We are in the 21st century, and I think we should live in love and peace," she said. "We have to live like human beings, and we have to do a lot of things to protect our planet and our people."