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'Children Don't Deserve To Die': Locals Hold Vigil For Victims Of Bombing On Mariupol Theater

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A somber evening Saturday as a silent rally and memorial was held to honor the lives lost, specifically the young children, in an airstrike on a theater in Mariupol.

"When children are dying that shows the cruelty of this war. Because children don't deserve to die," said Iryma Maxfield, the president of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church board.

Around 200 people and young children lit candles and said prayers Saturday night to honor the victims.

"Official data suggests that more than 150 kids died and around 200 kids wounded," said Julia Lemesh, the co-president of Florida for Ukraine.

Florida for Ukraine and St. Nicholas Ukranian Orthodox Church sold flags, shirts, bracelets and more to raise money.

All the proceeds will go directly to the kids in need after the attack at the theater in Mariupol.

"Right now, the official data suggests that 350 people died there and I can't even imagine, what happened… that panic… what a disaster that is," said Lemesh.

Lemesh is expecting to raise between $5,000 and $10,000 to send to Ukrainian foundations.

"To transfer a severely wounded kid, like, who's literally dying from Kyiv to Rome for instance it costs $6,000 to transport a kid," said Lemesh.

They're hoping money raised at this event can help fund one of those trips.

Lemesh came to America in 2016, and says her family, friends and students are still there.

"It's devasting. It's indescribable what I feel," said Lemesh.

It was a very emotional evening; they're hoping events like this will bring political attention and more donations for families and injured children.


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