Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

C-Span coverage of the Ukrainian Inauguration

By Aussiegirl

I just finished watching a tape I had made last night of a C-Span broadcast Yushchenko's Inaugural speech. (Thanks to Ldotter FL_Absentee_Voter for cluing me in that there was such a broadcast.) I was so moved I just had to post my immediate and emotional reactions upon viewing it. There was a simultaneous English translation, but I could hear some of the Ukrainian behind the translation. It was magnificent, so dignified and moving. They started by singing the national anthem -- everyone singing together -- in glorious harmony -- with a band accompaniment -- they had sung this anthem time and time again as they stood in the snow demanding justice -- and now they sang it again in triumph and gratitude on a beautiful, snowless and sunny day. The crowds were enormous -- a real people's inauguration -- crowds and crowds -- in that beautiful square -- with the columns wrapped in orange -- and Yushchenko -- speaking so earnestly -- so simply -- and so movingly -- with the people simply rapt and joyous. Old faces and young faces -- full of hope, and full of so much knowledge of hardships that had come before. I was a blubber of tears by the time he finished. And then young Ukrainian singers came out to the center of the square and began singing a modern song -- a sort of anthem to Ukraine -- it must have been the theme song because everyone sang along -- it was a soaring melody -- Ukraine, Ukraine -- with an open heart, etc. etc. -- down a golden path, etc. etc. -- I couldn't make out all the words but you got the general drift. And then -- Yushchenko released a pigeon - and then many pigeons flew up into the heavens -- and finally -- masses of orange balloons sailed high into the cloudless blue sky and drifted slowly away as the song rang out through the square. And there was Yushchenko -- with his entire family -- wife, children, grandchildren -- looking proud, humble, sincere, very simple -- and very happy -- but with a serious happiness -- a melancholy happiness -- a determined and weighty happiness -- at all that has gone before -- and all that lies ahead. I was awash in tears. It is a great day indeed. Ukraine has left all the crudeness and despotism of Russia and its long and bitter history behind. It looks to the future. It won't be easy -- but the first step has been taken -- it is an irrevocable step. I am one happy Ukrainian American on this day.


At 9:53 AM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

As a young school girl in the years after W.W.II, I had a mental image of countries with exotic names like Ukraine, Armenia, and Lithuania as simply being territories of the great mysterious U.S.S.R. An extremely large and very cold place ruled by people with names like Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev.

Khrushchev burst into our current events class (in 1960) with his infamous display of temper, while pounding on the table with his shoe at a meeting of the UN. His previous remark in 1956, "We will bury you." was already a well known threat to every American.

There was really no way that any one of my age in my time and place, could know that the Ukrainians lived in even more fear of the Russians than we did. I was left to assume that all of the people of Ukraine, Armenia, Lithuania, et al., were well represented by the words of Nikita Khrushchev.

Many of those initial images and thoughts about the satellite states of Russia fell away with time, and as I accumulated more historical knowledge, especially through the Reagan years.

Today with the advent of the Internet, the Blogs posted from Ukraine and most importantly, Aussiegirl, I have watched and learned so much about the struggle of a people to be free of Russian domination.

I sincerely hope that as we celebrate the "Orange Revolution," we will also celebrate new freedoms for many other countries beginning with Iraq.

Aussiegirl, thank you for being such a wonderful guide for the rest of us who knew so little about Ukraine and it's citizens just a few months ago.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Just Rannin' Around said...

I will have to second the comments posted by BonnieBlueFlag.....thank you for educating us on the events happening in the world. My great-grandma escaped from Germany right before the wall was closed and come to America where I have had the opportunity and privledge of enjoying a life of freedoms.

Thank you for sharing the sweet story of your parents. I have a feeling of reverance for those who struggled to obtain the blessings of living in this country established by God. God bless you and your family!!


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