Hundreds illuminate Dodge Street to support refugees

Posted at 10:50 PM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 07:05:27-05

Hundreds lined up along Dodge Street in solidarity with refugees and immigrants Monday evening as part of a Light the Way vigil.

The event was a peaceful and nonpartisan event to show refugees and immigrants they are welcome in Omaha, despite current travel restrictions for refugees and immigrants. 

"The symbolism for Light the Way really comes from the Statue of Liberty, that torch, that symbol internationally that the United States is a welcoming safe place for all people," says Lacey Studnicka, one of the organizers. "And so we thought, let's line Dodge street during rush hour traffic to show refugees and immigrants that we love them and that we're glad that they're here."
From Memorial Park past 64th St. candles, lights, and signs were displayed on both sides of the streets as the rush hour traffic drove by, many of them honking in approval. 
"It's really encouraging especially in such a negative time where the president's visions don't align with my beliefs and I feel like that's not what makes great, working together and welcoming  people is what makes America what it has been," says Jessica Valdez, a junior at Creighton University. 
The event, which was organized by several local organizations, also saw some opposition as few drivers drove by shouting comments in disapproval. 
The vigil was the second pro-refugee event held in Omaha in the last month.