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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Dec 29, 2004, 1:00 pm ET

    Today, I am proud to be Ukrainian

    This letter was written to friends in the U.S. by a physician living in Ukraine.

    Dear friends!

    I want to send a billion thanks to you and the entire Ukrainian Community in North America for your many-sided support.

    You ask what is the main feeling right now in Ukraine? It is the feeling of unity and deep understanding ... the feeling of love and glory ... the feeling - "I am Ukrainian".

    Millions of people together raised their voices, raised their hands and heads, and finally raised their souls and minds in one move upwards. Millions of Ukrainians (even those who can hardly speak Ukrainian!) liberated their minds from the soviet ideology - the ideology of slavery and suppression. The "Pomarancheva (Orange) Revolutsiya" revealed wonderful examples of human dignity and the Ukrainian character. We're poor (this is hardly a secret), but we're FREE! And isn't this VALUE!? As the proverb says: "We are naked, but we are proud". That is quite true about us, the Ukrainian people, who still live in Ukraine.

    Our Revolution showed millions of examples when people of different ages, political tastes and races acted in a very unpredictable manner. Imagine this - my husband, who is part Ukrainian, Polish, German, British, Crimean Tartar, and Lithuanian, a person with two children, a state job and good social position, a person who never has enough time to share with his family left his job - this person left everything behind him to join the rallies at the Central Square in Chernivtsi and later on Kyiv. Isn't this marvelous? Even my children, 7 and 9 yrs old begged me to allow them to go to Maidan.

    Two months ago, with so many Ukrainians traveling or living abroad, the heart of the nation could be found in New York, Toronto or Chicago. And it was in Lviv - in Western Ukraine. Now, I'm proud to say that Kyiv - at the center of our country - is a 100% capital of Ukraine. Millions of Kyivans left their homes to fight for Ukraine proving their right to be called the "capital city."

    My husband's brother has a wife of Russian origin, born in Northern Russia. But even she, unable to go to Maidan due to a fractured leg, prepared dozens of sandwiches for him and other protesters and blessed him for fighting. Millionaires and beggars, women and men, youngsters and old people, all were united in one big effort to change our lives for a better future - a better Ukrainian future! People of different ages and nationalities, Ukrainians and Russians, Jews and Georgians, Serbians and British all united on Maidan during these historical days. An amazing sight were the people in Mercedes, Ferraris, Maybachs and other luxury automobiles all dressed in orange stripes open heartedly serving food and hot drinks to people who stayed at the squares.

    I have two CDs with the 'Music from Maidan' - a set of most popular songs from Maidan Nezalezhnosti, including our national anthem, "Shche Ne Vmerla Ukrayina." This was also a discovery. Imagine a MILLION of PEOPLE singing our national anthem! That was incredible ... and unbelievable!

    The battle is not won yet, but we know that we are on the right side!

    Today, all Ukrainian people are looking towards the future with hope for a better life, for a democratic victory, for the renaissance of the Ukrainian nation. Today, it is fashionable to "belong to Ukraine". Today, the whole world knows what Ukraine is and where it is. Today, I am proud to be Ukrainian.

    I wish you strong health, many joys, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    With love in my heart to all of you!
    Larysa Sydorchuk and family

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