EDITORIAL: Stand up for Ukraine

Saturday’s march just one way Peninsula residents can show support for victims of war

There are times when we must stand up and be counted.

At various occasions during our recent, and most divisive, phase of history, people have felt moved to demonstrate in different ways about things important to them, mask and vaccination mandates among them.

Flags have been waved and words like ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ have been bandied about.

Shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday, in Memorial Park, another flag will be raised. It’s the distinctive blue and yellow flag of Ukraine, a free, sovereign nation that is currently being invaded in a war of aggression that has been roundly condemned by an overwhelming majority of nations represented in the UN.

This Saturday’s Peace Walk for Ukraine is an opportunity to show support, both symbolically and tangibly, for the ordinary people of Ukraine.

These are mothers, fathers and children who have had their freedoms snatched from them, not by the imperfect measures adopted by governments in dealing with a global pandemic, but by lethal bullets and shattering shellfire.

Rather than being inconvenienced by policies, they are huddling in basement bomb shelters, wondering if this day will be their last. Rather than posturing, they are taking up arms for the very survival of the families and country they love.

Their struggle is not ‘fake news’ but a sickeningly brutal reality. Whatever the complexities of the political situation that engendered the conflict, these are people, no different from ourselves, deserving of our compassion.

By attending the Peace Walk for Ukraine, let us demonstrate, in our own small way, that we understand the awful fragility of peace – and what true loss of ‘liberty’ looks like.