In a symbolic display, a group of Belarusian Americans marched across the Stone Arch Bridge, meeting in the middle a sea of blue and yellow, with Ukrainian flags wrapped around shoulders and waving from bicycles and baby strollers.

"It is utterly overwhelming. And I think everyone here feels that," said Stefan Iwaskewycz, a Ukrainian American from Minneapolis who helped organize the march. "We need to be here for ourselves as much as to be asking for the support of the world. The emotion is intense. And we're pissed off because how do you deal with someone who is telling you you don't exist, you don't have the right to exist as a nation? As a people?"

At the Ukrainian March for Freedom on Sunday afternoon, other countries were represented to offer support and echo demands for peace as tension escalates more than 5,000 miles away in Ukraine. It was the second large demonstration over the weekend, with hundreds gathering on Saturday evening on the Lowry Avenue Bridge in northeast Minneapolis and returning to the Stone Arch Bridge on Sunday when marches against the war took place across the world.

Among the march of more than 500 people was 28-year-old Andrei Mitreanu of Moldova, who said his family fled to Minnesota from his homeland because of the Russian army. He carried a giant American flag in one hand and the Ukrainian flag in the other.

"There's still Russian army over there, they still control a lot of stuff in my country in Moldova," he said. "And they're still shooting from that territory, which officially is Moldova, but it's controlled by Russia. A lot of refugees from Ukraine in the past three days come to Moldova. But we are afraid that this crazy guy [Putin] might get in Moldova again."

The crowd marched from the Stone Arch Bridge to Hennepin Avenue Bridge, where several semi trucks driving by blasted their horns in support. Oleksiy Khrystych stopped to play Ukrainian World War II songs on his accordion, and Iwaskewycz accompanied with his tambourine.

Dan and Olya Hromis drove to Minneapolis from Rochester to join the march with their two children, ages 11 and 7. He said he's a third-generation Ukrainian and his wife's family is back home trying to escape.

"What Putin is doing to innocent civilians, watching the videos, it's just horrific," he said. "Our daughter is maybe not quite old enough to see some of the violence that's happening, but my son is perhaps a bit older, and I'm telling him what [he's] seeing is the effects of war and how terrible it is, ripping lives apart."

Though a somber occasion to gather with other Ukrainian Americans, he said it was nice to be among them to share the pain, remain strong and feel the support.

"Ukraine has really held up so far, surprising everyone. I think whole world is behind them, which is amazing," he said.

Jacob Komarec, 34, whose grandparents fled Ukraine, said he proposed to his now-fiancée, Ashley Hannigan, on Tuesday, which has made the entire week emotional and unforgettable in the most bittersweet way.

"The invasion pushed me to do this because everything's changing so fast these days," he said.

"Time is precious," Hannigan added.

The newly engaged couple showed up to the march in matching yellow and blue scarves, where a sea of Ukrainian flags flooded the sidewalks along the Mississippi River downtown.

Iwaskewycz said the pride of Ukraine showed in the large turnout Sunday, which he didn't fully expect. But when he tried calling around to locally owned Ukrainian stores to get more flags before the march, there was already a sign of support.

"All the stores that have them are completely sold out," he said. "They're sold out of the flags. They're sold out of scarves. They're sold out of their shirts."

Staff writer Chris Serres contributed to this report.