Hundreds of New Yorkers with Ukrainian roots marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday in a show of support for a country facing an uncertain future. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
They sang their country's anthem and waved its flag proudly.
It's been an excruciating week for the city's Ukrainians, as violence and political uncertainty after months of protests shook the capital of Kiev and the loved ones who lived there.
"Lots of our friends and families were touched by these events, and we were really worrying here in New York, so far from homeland," said one person at the rally. "Our hearts were broken with all this news that came in for the past two days."
"I know already my classmate in the Ukraine, he already got shot in the hand, but he is OK now," said another. "So yeah, I'm worried about them."
On Saturday, close to 1,000 New Yorkers, many of them born in Ukraine, marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in support of the protesters. They are hopeful that the country's political fortunes may be changing.
"It's been exciting and emotional, painfully emotional, and also makes me very proud of Ukrainians," said one person at the rally.
After enduring their country's crisis from afar, Ukrainian New Yorkers that NY1 spoke with said that they were just happy to have a day in the sun.
The crowd reacted positively to the news that the country's president, Viktor, Yanukovych, had fled the capital as protesters took over.
"It's still not worth everything that's been done to the people, so it's a little victory, I would say," said one person at the rally. "But there is still much more to be done."
A part of that, many say, is educating more people about the importance of everything that's been happening in Ukraine.
"Now, I think there really is more of a global awareness of what is going on, which is great because it does really help to have that foundation to help with these next steps in the formation of the new government and new stage of freedom for Ukraine," said one person at the rally.