KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wednesday marks Independence Day in Ukraine, a national holiday celebrating the nation's sovereignty, but one Kansas City woman volunteering in Ukraine says on this national holiday, she does not see any celebration.
Marsha Ramsey, a volunteer at the World Central Kitchen near the Ukraine-Poland border, spoke with KSHB News anchors Lindsay Shively and Taylor Hemness on Wednesday. She described the atmosphere of Independence Day in Ukraine as "empty" and "on edge."
“The whole country of Ukraine is very much on edge right now. The cities are empty. You see no one - everyone’s inside," Ramsey said. "The air raid sirens have not stopped since probably 10 o’clock last night.”
While the cities may be empty, Ramsey says there is no shortage of destruction.
“The damage is much worse than I think anyone in the United States understands or sees. You can’t go down hardly any streets that you don’t see some building that has been bombed,” she said.
While in Ukraine, Ramsey has been working to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
“Tomorrow morning, we are going to be picking up two women that had three children between the two of them and they were both killed last week,” she said. "We are going to rescue them and bring them to a safer place more central in Ukraine.”
She now is trying to find safe passage home to Kansas City.
“I have tried since Saturday to get out of here, I could not get a train ticket. There’s also some guilt involved because that would be taking away a train ticket from a refugee — which I certainly don’t want to do.”
Ramsey says it appears she may be able to leave on Sunday or Monday. In the meantime, she is seeking safety and continuing to provide relief to Ukrainians.
“We’re headed to some small villages that should be safe and deliver some aid to them,” she said.