A young mother I met in Uzhhorod, 우크라이나, told me that when she and her family ventured out in search of food, Russian soldiers would shoot into the lines of people waiting for a piece of bread. These Ukrainian mothers were so grateful to the people of Romania and Slovakia for their support. As another mother, 안나, told me, 있다 “no borders for our hearts.”
The border guards told me stories of thousands of people with few belongings who crossed into Slovakia — a desperate sea of humanity, whose lives were forever changed on February 24, the date of Russia’s further invasion of an unjust war that began years ago.
In the cold of February
, many came without shoes
, walking for miles upon miles
. They were fleeing in fear
, carrying one wish of being able to return home
. One 11-year-old came by himself with a phone number to contact his family written on his hand
. And then there were their pets making the journey with them
. “We weren’t ready for that
,” the guards told me
Olena Zelenska, the wife of Ukraine’s President, came out of hiding, leaving her own children, to visit with me and ask for help for the people of her country. She didn’t ask me for food or clothing or weapons. She asked me to help her get mental health care for all those suffering from the effects of Vladimir Putin’s senseless and brutal war.
She told me of the rapes of women and children, and the many children who had seen people shot and killed, their homes burned. “I want to return home quickly,” she told me. “I only want to hold the hands of my children.”
We wished each other Happy Mother’s Day. I told her I was in Ukraine to show Ukrainian mothers that we were standing with them, and I was carrying the hearts of the American people with me. “감사합니다,” Zelenska responded, “the Ukrainians are so grateful for the support of the American people.”
Kahlil Gibran once wrote
, “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being
, the more joy you can contain.
” My hope is that this is true for the mothers I met
. But that can only happen when this war ends
씨. 의식이 있고 중상을 입은 채 병원에 도착, please end this senseless and brutal war.