Demonstrators, some holding or wearing Ukrainian flags, stood in a horseshoe shape around lighted candles to hear prayers, poems, and songs. The names of the victims were read aloud while some embraced and others cried.
Iryna Mazur, 37, of Huntingdon Valley, read the names into a microphone. For her, it was a personal moment.
Mazur has lived in the United States for twelve years, but her family remains in Ukraine. After the deadly protests, her brother was, for a time, listed among the missing. "I cried all my tears days before. I'm looking forward," she said.
Mazur, wearing a long, white coat with the blue-and-yellow colors of the Ukraine flag draped around her neck, said she was shocked by the violence.
"I couldn't believe that was possible in the middle of Europe," she said.
Reading the names was an honor, she said. "Those people who paid in blood, they paid for our children," Mazur said. "Those people fell for freedom."
Like others in the crowd, she said the ouster of Yanukovych has raised hopes that the country would unite and rebound, not fall into civil war. "I think the worst is over," Mazur said.
Organizers believe the demonstrations are necessary to cultivate support for what is certain to be a long, fragile time for Ukraine.
Philadelphia and its suburbs are home to a large Ukrainian immigrant population. Pennsylvania and New Jersey combined have about 200,000 people of Ukrainian descent.
At one point, gatherers were asked to reach out to members of the U.S. Senate and House to encourage them to pressure the International Monetary Fund for loans to Ukraine. "The economy is in shambles," one speaker said.
Before the demonstration, Kalyna, the organizer, called this period a new beginning.
"It's certainly not victory, and it's certainly not the end," she said. "To have the parliament vote out Yanukovych is a huge step.
"It kind of caught us by surprise. This is wonderful, but the hard work lies ahead."