C-Span coverage of the Ukrainian Inauguration
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.