Chicago, IL

Chicago Ukranian Church Visited by Two US Presidents in Show of Solidarity

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush shown visiting Chicago Ukrainian church with yellow sunflowers in tweeted video
Field of sunflowers, the national flower of UkraineRachel Kramer/flickr

A video provided by the George W. Bush Presidential Center shares images of the 42nd and 43rd Presidents of the U.S., George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, laying sunflowers wrapped in blue and gold cloth, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, outside of the Saints Volodymyr and Olha Catholic Church in Chicago. Sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine, have been used as a symbol of solidarity and support for Ukraine as it continues to try to fight off Russian invaders. Media were not informed of the visit.

Posts shared on each president's social media accounts stated, “America stands united with the people of Ukraine in their fight for freedom and against oppression.” The presidents called on the people of the U.S. to stand with the Ukraine as they fight oppression.

Chicago is home to over 54,000 people of Ukrainian descent which is the second largest population of Ukrainians in a U.S. metropolitan city. The church visited by the former U.S. presidents is one of the best known landmarks found in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood in northwest Chicago. Immigrants from Ukrain first began settling in the area in 1870. In addition to the Saints Volodymyr and Olha Catholic Church, the village has two other Ukrainian churches along with a Ukranian grammar school and national museum and many Ukrainian-owned businesses.

Other areas of Chicago with a large Ukrainian population include,Elmwood Park, the O'Hare area, Palatine and the southwest suburbs surrounding Palos Heights. Chicago is a sister city to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

Both Bush and Clinton have condemned the attacks.

Watch video coverage of the visit below.

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