"Liberation and Freedom"
A Reason to Smile
Often in our “A Reason to Smile” feature here at Steady we share music or other elements of the arts that celebrate the sublimity of human expression. Today, however, we share something very different.
The backdrop for our offering is the barbarity of which humans are sadly capable. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has seen staggering levels of death and suffering. Whenever Russian forces are repelled, the stories that emerge, along with the mass graves, speak of unconscionable atrocities and war crimes.
The most recent location where this is taking place is the city of Kherson, which had been under occupation for more than eight months. Once again, we are hearing a narrative of unimaginable brutality. But we are also seeing something else: hope born from the remarkable resilience of the human spirit. The courage, bravery, and resourcefulness of the Ukrainian military and its citizens is inspiring.
As Ukrainian troops liberated the city, residents who had lived in fear streamed out of their homes and gathered with ebullient expressions of relief and joy. We are living in a time when the forces of autocracy have felt ascendant. Yet we should not discount the resolve of people to live in freedom.
We should also recognize that the path to freedom and liberation from the forces of tyranny is never assured and is full of hardship. Kherson remains a humanitarian crisis — littered with landmines, facing a scarcity of water, electricity, and food, and still near the frontlines. Yet it is also a place where its residents can step out into the light and feel free. It is a symbol to the world of what resistance can accomplish. It is a reason for hope, and we believe, to smile.
The clip today is from about a week ago, when Ukrainian forces took back the city. It features the longtime CNN correspondent Nic Robertson, who has reported from countless war zones over his storied career. Here we see the power of live television as he conducts interviews with residents of Kherson. A crowd gathers, and the spirit they exude, along with the words they share, is something to behold.
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