CHICAGO — Dressed in yellow and blue, 9-year-old Diana Lemeha was among those gathered at St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Sunday in celebration of Easter.

“I wish every night that the war would stop, like permanently, so there would be no Russians attacking,” Diana told WGN News.

Much like Diana, the horrors happening half a world away weren’t far from the attendee’s minds.

“I feel like nothing is going to get fixed,” says Diana

The 9-year-old’s mother, Iryna, says she worries every day for her parents, who still reside in Western Ukraine. 

“It’s’ hard,” she said. “It’s hard. I hope everything ends soon because what they are doing, animals don’t even do to people.” 

Iryna Lemeha says her best friend also fled Kyiv when the bombs started falling though it took her what felt like forever to get to safety. 

“She was crying,” Lemeha said. “She was hours in the car she couldn’t get out of the city. We have a hard time sleeping with the news, especially in the east.”  

But today came a chance to offer extra special prayers for loved ones back home.
 
“This is a big holiday. This is a nice holiday,” said Father Ivan Lymar. He says century-long years of history have been wiped out by senseless war.  

“Please stop this evil because our history and our people have died,” he said. “It’s very, very hard for us.”

Father Lymar celebrated the liturgy alongside Deacon Andriy Fronchak, blessing those who brought their traditional Easter baskets.

“We ask God to bless their baskets because we want to start another life with God’s blessing,” Fronchak said.

Sunday was an opportunity to remember all who were suffering while also celebrating the resurrection.  

“May God bless them all,” Fronchak said. “Chris has arisen.”