YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Sts. Peter and Paul Ukranian Orthodox Church in Youngstown honored Ukraine with a raising of the flag ceremony Sunday.

The celebration was meant to honor when Ukraine originally gained independence from the Soviet Union 31 years ago.

The ceremony was also meant to support Ukrainians through the difficulties the country is still experiencing six months in to a war with Russia.

“It’s important for us to remember where we come from and to support our nation and to support the people that live there,” said Father Mykola Zomchak with the church.

Zomchak is originally from Ukraine and moved to the United States seven years ago.

“We don’t want to give up on supporting Ukrainians, we don’t want to give up fighting. We want to support them in their fighting especially with our prayers,” Zomchak said.

There is a strong Ukrainian presence in the Youngstown area. Michael Walkowiec, a board member with the church, still has family in the country.

He’s one of many in the community supporting Ukraine as the war continues — but he says more is needed.

“Every dollar counts. People need clothing, people are being displaced as far as where they are living. People are being moved out of their own country,” Walkowiec said.

Sts. Peter and Paul Ukranian Orthodox Church said anyone who wishes to support Ukraine can contact the church.

“They stay strong and they stay strong in faith and they ask us to do the same,” Zomchak said.