Tetmeyer: America reborn


Courtesy of Max Kukurudziak via Unsplash

Columnist Grant Tetmeyer argues that the war in Ukraine can be seen as a reflection of the ideals of the American Revolution. 

Grant Tetmeyer

There has been fierce debate on how the U.S. involves itself in the war in Ukraine and if we even should involve ourselves more than we have with the plethora of economic sanctions. We have started to feel the effects of the war at home through the pump, and it has already started the conversation of how much we should cut off Russia. But we are missing one very important and arguably one of the most crucial facts that is playing out right in front of our lives. Ukraine has begun to mimic the America we were taught about.

For a quick history lesson, Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union until it declared its independence Aug. 24, 1991, shortly before the fall of the Soviet Union in December of that same year. It has been dealing with Russian interference and influence since. And now, Russia has decided to try and bring Ukraine back into its fold and invaded the country. This has inspired protests, acts of physical courage by ordinary Ukrainian citizens and brought volunteers from across the globe to help fight Russia. We are seeing this much smaller country take on one of the world’s biggest powers and hold them. Make no mistake about it; David is making Goliath acknowledge him. And it is also an exact reflection of the America we were told about in school.  

I’m sure any of us can recall the narrative of the Revolutionary War we were told all throughout our K-12 experience. That displaced Europeans came to America seeking religious freedom and to seek their fortunes in the new world. That they fought the British monarchy for their freedom and as a result of economic pressure by the British Empire. You know, “No taxation without representation.” But the core of it is that we fought to keep the British out and to preserve “our” land and livelihoods. And we won because we had a reason. Because the British had invaded our home and we wouldn’t allow them to take our homes. We had a real reason to fight because we had everything and nothing to lose. 

Now, we are seeing all these reasons come into play in Ukraine. That Russia invaded their homes, their cities. They are trying to uproot the Ukrainian way of life and impose its own on the people. In response, the Ukrainian people and military have held. So to debate the practicality of our involvement or advocate for the conflict’s aggressor is to spit directly on the ideals that we have been told fueled our own revolution. That gave us the sense of strength and power that led to such prosperity that may have never happened had we been unable to hold. We are at an extremely pivotal moment in history. I’m sure we can all realize this. And now is the time to live up to what our country says it stands for. We have done a lot in our history to the contrary, but now is when we can truly live our promises instead of our sins. And we should because this is not just a possible World War III, but it is also the possible rebirth of the American ideal and dream.