Lessons from the past.

Admit it, how many of you who came of age in the 1980s have recalled the film Red Dawn this week?

Released in 1984, the Patrick Swayze thriller had teenagers leading an insurgency against a Russian invasion of America. The film ends with a visit to a monument that pays tribute to the young adults who fought back against aggression. In the end, Americans were victorious, but not until years after the war was brought to a bloody end.

As a former teacher of, and always a student, of history, it pains me that in the twenty-first century human beings have not avoided conflict on the scale of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It tears at my heart to see husbands and fathers escort their families to a safe border, then return to fight for their homeland. When I see images of Russian convoys wrecked along Ukrainian roadsides, I am cheering for an outcome where people who declared themselves free from Soviet/Russian influence in 1991 are again free from fear and allowed to live their lives in ways that benefit themselves.

In the past decades, we have witnessed the rise of authoritarianism, again, in governments worldwide. Our grandparents—great grandparents, fought against such some 76 years ago. They fought and won, and then we embarked upon a war of ideologies for another 46 years for communism, in most of the world, to fizzle out. Why are we fighting these battles all over again?

To the logical mind, none of this makes sense, not to me. I watch with the rest of the world, those who have access to images broadcast from the scene, helpless to change the outcome, left alone with my thoughts and prayers for people I do not know.

Then it comes to mind the battle cry echoed in that 1984 film: “Wolverines!”

Rise Ukraine! Fight for your home! Know that those who value freedom are with you.

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