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The Ghost Parade

Inside Ukraine’s Independence Day

Ukrainians fight for self-determination in the face of the world's second-strongest army. We all should celebrate Ukraine's Independence Day.
BY Liubov Lavreniuk

Photo Credits: Liubov Lavreniuk

Ukraine's Independence Day

Thirty-one years of independence, eight years, and 182 days of the war for freedom. We, Ukrainians, tried to gain our Independence many times during centuries, and we achieved our freedom at the very moment we were born. Ukraine often was on the front lines of the main combatants between two civilizations of war and progress, dignity and slavery, freedom and dictatorship. Today we proudly celebrate Ukraine’s Independence Day.

All the way we exist, we fight for our being and identity. And here we go. Ukraine fights back against the second-strongest army in the world. As a result, the world has held its breath. How deep is your love? How strong are your beliefs? Ukraine asks the EU and the world. Nonetheless, you have to decide if you are on the side of light or darkness. It doesn’t matter if you follow politics or if it follows you. If you don’t make your choice, someone else will make it for you.

A tank during Ukraine's Independence Day 2022 in Kyiv.

Before and After

During the previous eight years, Independence Day has been celebrated quite ordinary with national colors all around, concerts, fireworks, and embroidered national clothes parades. Since 2014, when the war in the East broke out and a neighboring country occupied some territories, Ukraine honored those who died defending its sovereignty and Independence.

But this year, everything has changed completely. National colors, which had always been the colors of peaceful sky and wheat fields, gained new meaning and are now something that protects from evil at last. Ukrainian embroidery is powerfully symbolic of a series of ceremonies and rituals and is a kind of amulet for the Ukrainian people. Under those circumstances, it is the symbol of identity, the way to show who you are. The Military Forces of Ukraine are the gods that the country’s people believe in today.

Russian or Ukrainian?

Regarding the language, there used to be quite a famous saying, “What’s the difference between what language you speak (Russian or Ukrainian)? The main thing is for the road to be smooth, lights to be on” and “The language is impossible to be spread on bread.” This means it doesn’t matter that much. What matters is wealth indeed. But later on, when the road was paved, and electricity was supplied, Russian tanks set off on a “trip” along these roads, ensuring the proper operation of air raid sirens. So, now the language has gained a new meaning.

“The language is a natural and cultural border. It defines the area of residence of the people. It unites us with previous generations of Ukrainians. It is something that must always be protected!”

The Ghost Parade

When the invaders walked on this land, they had a dream to conquer the territory and minds of the people. They thought the locals would share their beliefs, but they were wrong. It was their DREAM to set a victory parade on the main street of the capital of Ukraine. Moreover, the Independence Day of Ukraine, their DREAM has come true. As I have said, there’s a parade of ghost invaders’ army on Chreshchatyk Street.

Finally, today, we are stronger and more confident. We have support from the world’s most significant and small countries’ governments. Our friends, The United States, Great Britain, and neighboring European countries, provide us with everything we need to succeed. Above all, nearly the whole world stands with Ukraine on this day and ever.

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