Text by Andy Baynes
August 24th marks the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. Many of us in other parts of the world allow these anniversaries to come and go. Ukrainians however are on the front line, swapping their day jobs for a role on the battlefields of Kherson, Kharkiv and Donbas.
The rest of us have mostly delegated the task of fighting off a ruthless gangster who is bent on dismantling Europe, NATO and democracy. Today, the fight has fallen on the shoulders of our Ukrainian friends. Tomorrow, it could very well be all of us having to fight, and how lucky we are that the first into battle are men and women with the hearts of lions and the brains of chess champions.
Today, let’s acknowledge the true significance of this day of independence. The freedoms and safety that we all take for granted are having to be earned and defended with people’s lives, the lives of Ukrainian heroes. Those heroes in Ukraine are fighting today, so our children and grandchildren in Western Europe don’t have to give up their lives tomorrow.
To all Ukrainian citizens, we honour and salute you.