Last Sunday, my mom and I attended a Ukrainian Catholic University fundraiser in Chicago, Illinois. After singing both the United State’s national anthem and Ukraine’s national anthem before the ceremony, my mom shared something interesting with me. She said, “When we sing the national anthem in America, we thank God for our freedom, while the Ukrainian national anthem prays for freedom: ‘We’ll lay down our souls and bodies to attain our freedom, and we’ll show that we, brothers, are of the Cossack nation.’”
I’m thankful to be American, but I’m also blessed & proud to be Ukrainian. As we celebrate Veteran’s Day and honor our American veterans, I can’t help but think of the turmoil in Ukraine today.
One of the reasons I made the effort to attend this benefit was to share the company of Ukraine’s popstar, Ruslana. Not only does Ruslana inspire millions with her music, but she also touches many with her humanitarian spirit. She is a brave political activist and the exuberant leader of Ukraine’s pro-E.U. protest movement. (Learn more about her here.)
I’ve loved Ruslana and her music for many years now. (Watch her award-winning Wild Dances Eurovision performance here. This song has been one of my top played songs for at least 7 years!) But after Sunday, I’m even more inspired by her dedication to Ukraine. Ruslana raises money for injured Ukrainians and refugees, but above all she asks us to pray for Ukraine’s freedom and peace.
Please keep Ukraine in your thoughts and prayers. If you have the desire to help monetarily, more information can be found on Ruslana’s website here.
For my part, I’m hoping to create a few Ukrainian inspired items to auction off for the cause. Слава Україні! Героям слава!