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National commemoration start of the war in Utrecht, Netherlands

On 24 February, 5,000 Ukrainians gathered at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht (Netherlands) to remember the start of the war; exactly one year ago on that day. The gathering was all about meeting and remembering together.

The programme at the Jaarbeurs was all about 'Remember Together'. On the exhibition floor of Hall 1 were 25 meeting points symbolizing Ukrainian cities and regions. They were decorated as living rooms. The idea was that Ukrainians could take a journey through their homeland that day, meet city and regional peers and see images of the current situation in their country. A programme of speeches and Ukrainian music was offered on the central stage in the Jaarbeurs. Better Time Stories was also present at this event.

The Walk of Hope

Next to that, a special 'Walk of Hope' took place, which people could walk around the Jaarbeurs. The route followed the path travelled by more than ten thousand refugees last year between Utrecht Central Station and the crisis centre in the Jaarbeurs. Along the marked route, you could read on pillars what went through the refugees and aid workers as they arrived and were welcomed.

The idea for this commemoration came from the Ukrainian community of Vital'nya in Utrecht. At Vital'nya - 'living room' in Ukrainian - refugees from Ukraine have been meeting to be among their fellow countrymen since 1 April last year.

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