Members of the Russian-American community from around the region came to Bellevue’s Downtown Park on Sunday, May 5, for a WWII commemoration event. People carried signs featuring photographs of their relatives who fought in WWII. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

Members of the Russian-American community from around the region came to Bellevue’s Downtown Park on Sunday, May 5, for a WWII commemoration event. People carried signs featuring photographs of their relatives who fought in WWII. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

Russian-American groups commemerate World War II veterans at Downtown Park

Russian American citizens came to Downtown Park for a WWII commemoration event on Sunday, May 5.

To honor the legacy of their family members who fought in World War II, dozens of Russian American citizens came out to Bellevue’s Downtown Park for a commemoration event on Sunday, May 5.

Hosted by the Magistrate of International Russian American Heritage (MIRAH) Foundation and the Russian-Jewish Cultural Center in Bellevue, members of the Russian community around the Eastside gathered for a day of remembrance.

Timothy Yanovskiy, chairman of the board of the MIRAH Foundation, said the event was held to honor the soldiers who fought in the war and any veterans who live in Bellevue. The gathering was the first of its kind in Bellevue, but similar events have been held in Seattle for the past four years.

“One of the reasons we exist, we notice there is a rise in interest of fascist interest as well as anti-semitism, not just in the state of Washington but in the United States of America,” Yanovskiy said. “We understand that the younger generation doesn’t really know, they are not aware of all the problems that existed and the reasoning and the causes that happened. Our sole purpose is to hold events like this — part of the reason to commemorate our relatives and people involved in World War II, and we want to educate the public on these things.”

Yanovskiy said the two organizations want to grow the event in Bellevue by working with more local veterans and other organizations for next year’s event.

“We are reaching out to local veterans associations and any organizations that deal with World War II, museums as well,” he said. “We are reaching out to them as well and hoping next year they will join — it’s a great educational event.”

The group marched around Downtown Park before returning to center for a moment of silence. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

The group marched around Downtown Park before returning to center for a moment of silence. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

Timothy Yanovskiy, chairman of the board for the MIRAH Foundation, welcomes everyone to the event. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

Timothy Yanovskiy, chairman of the board for the MIRAH Foundation, welcomes everyone to the event. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

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