By Roman Donik
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Today, patriotism means something completely different to me than patriotism did even a month ago.
Today, patriotism for me is a girl from occupied Bakhchisaray who cries because the blocked Privat [bank] system won’t allow her to send money for heating pads for airborne troops.
This guy, who brings tricked-out binoculars given to him by his parents for his birthday.
These are handmade boots, which cost someone an arm and a leg. There are only three of them in all of the city of Kharkiv, waiting to be delivered in a care package to checkpoints.
Patriotism is when I receive a phone call from an unknown number: “We are at the checkout line in the supermarket and saw socks at a good price, should we take 30?”
Patriorism is the Barabashov small business owner, running around the market and asking for discounts on sleeping bags, “for the Army and a penny left for me.”
Patriotism is the mothers of three and four children who apologize that they can do so little/have such modest means.
Patriotism is our Ukrainians living abroad, who are searching for opportunities to somehow send us the money.
Patriotism is the people who give up everything to live in tents by the frontlines, to offer immediate help.
Patriotism is our women from Kharkiv, who use their knitting machines to make fabric from which they sew balaclavas.
Patriotism is the people who were unaware of your existence just yesterday, and who help you 24/7 because they think and breathe in unison with you.
Patirotism is the faltering into trembling voices of the military base commanders, when you dictate to them the list of deliveries over the phone and tell them, “guys, hang in there, we are with you.”
Patriotism is the army broken into pieces by Russian agents and our sticky-fingered bureaucrats, that is being resuscitated at the expense of Ukrainian people themselves, penny-by-penny.
And you know what is the greatest? This army will no longer be plundered by anyone. No one will forget this army ever again.
All of us will protect this army from the bureaucrats and state officials, because this is OUR army. It is part of the souls of every one of us.
And this is just the beginning. 🙂 🙂 🙂