Westborough responds to Russian invasion of Ukraine

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Westborough responds to Russian invasion of Ukraine
The clock above Westborough’s Town Hall shone in blue and yellow on March 7 as a “gesture of support” for the Ukrainian community. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

WESTBOROUGH – Westborough has recently joined area communities in sharing its support for the Ukrainian community during the country’s ongoing conflict with Russia. 

The clock above Westborough’s Town Hall has been lit in Ukrainian blue and yellow.

The Select Board, meanwhile, has issued a statement.

“Westborough Select Board acknowledges the current humanitarian and armed crisis in Ukraine,” read Select Board member Sean Keogh during the board’s meeting on Tuesday. “We want to support our Ukrainian-American friends and neighbors during these uncertain times.”

Community shows support for Ukraine

Russian troops invaded Ukraine late last month on orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Fighting has continued since then, prompting a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine while drawing widespread condemnation abroad. 

Displays of support have similarly abounded.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation previously lit up the Kenneth F. Burns Bridge connecting Shrewsbury to Worcester in yellow and blue. 

In Westborough, at least one local business had hung a Ukrainian flag in its window as of Friday.

Youth and Family Services Director issues statement

Speaking on Tuesday, Keogh encouraged community members to reach out to Westborough Youth and Family Services if they are experiencing emotional distress or if they need support discussing this crisis with their children.

WYFS Director Cara Presley issued a separate statement that same day, saying she was inspired to speak up after meeting with the Westborough Youth Commission the previous week. 

Over a dozen high school students expressed their “concern, questions and outrage about the events in Ukraine,” she said.

“All of us have become unfortunately accustomed to exposure to real-life violence reported by the media,” Presley continued. 

Despite that exposure to this violence, she said, people aren’t immune to its negative effects.

“Kids, in particular, are vulnerable to negative emotional and mental health impacts of watching and hearing about Ukrainian people being hurt or killed, having their homes and schools destroyed and fleeing their country for safety,” Presley said.

She advised adults to consider limiting children’s exposure to media. She noted that adults can further invite the questions and feelings of young people, sharing facts and being honest about what they know. 

Presley’s full statement can be viewed online by visiting https://www.town.westborough.ma.us/youth-family-services.

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