PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- August 24 was Independence Day for Ukraine. The day was celebrated by numerous Ukrainian-based organizations in Philadelphia and those helping refugees settle here while the Russian invasion continues.
At the KleinLife Center in Northeast Philadelphia, Ukrainian Independence was celebrated by a performance of 45 children now here in the city. They were visibly happy on stage.
But it's been a long arduous journey as all of them came from war-torn Ukraine just months ago.
Since their arrival, they've been welcomed at KleinLife and their summer camp for free.
But getting to the point of a celebration wasn't easy.
"Both them and their mothers were crying the first few days. Unfortunately, a lot of them had to witness a lot of things that kids are not supposed to witness," said Andre Krug who is the president of KleinLife.
Officials there say they've worked hard to help the children and their families who were in the crowd feel welcome in Philadelphia.
"We have a psychologist on staff who was doing the program specifically for children. I think we're kind of getting back to normalcy," said Krug.
Action News also spoke with Iryna Mazur who is the Honorary Consulate of Ukraine in Philadelphia.
"The pain that they endured because of this war, it's incredible. I wish no children and no human being should feel what they did," said Mazur.
Ukrainian Independence Day was also celebrated at the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center in Jenkintown with a prayer service.
"This is a horrible, horrible attack on a free nation and Russia needs to be stopped," said Natalie Firko, the president of the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center.
At the United Ukraine American Relief Committee on Cottman Avenue, officials say there's still a dire need for donations.
"They need items of hygiene, sleeping bags, diapers for the kids and very elderly. Even if it stopped tomorrow, there's such a rebuild happening there. It's going to be years before the country can stand on its feet," said Motrja Watters, the executive director for the United Ukraine American Relief Committee.
Back in Ukraine, Russian forces launched a rocket attack on a train station, killing 22 people, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday after warning for days that Moscow might attempt "something particularly cruel" this week.
The lethal attack took place in Chaplyne, a town of about 3,500 people in the central Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukrainian news agencies quoted Zelenskyy as telling the U.N. Security Council via video. The president's office also reported that an 11-year-old child was killed by rocket fire earlier in the day in the settlement.