Let’s do more than talk

Published 5:17 pm Friday, April 15, 2022

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To the Editor:

The Russian military is carrying out terrible atrocities in Ukraine. Although Russia’s leader declared that journalists cannot refer to what is happening as a war or invasion, that’s what it is. Ukrainian civilians are being gunned down — just recently at a train station. News coverage showed luggage dotted around with the bodies of those who perished lying beside them. This has to stop.

How many more times do we have to see this scene unfold? How many more Ukrainians have to be executed in the streets, hands tied behind their backs? How many more maternity wards filled with mothers and children have to be bombed before we actually do something?

Everyone talks about not starting World War III, but we need to act before it’s too late. America was late to help in World War II. British leaders implored the US on multiple occasions to assist. It took Pearl Harbor to wake us up then. Let’s not let this brutality continue on our watch.

It’s easy to say to the Ukrainians, “We’re with you. We’re supporting you.” But are we really? From the reports, they need ammunition, weapons, and the transfer of those MIGs from Poland and they need them now. It shouldn’t take several meetings by NATO leaders before action is taken. And, saying that every inch of NATO territory will be defended is great if your country is part of NATO, but Ukraine is not.

It’s like being on the playground, standing around watching the little kid getting beat up by the bully. Everyone supports the little kid, but no one will enter the fray or stop the beating. If the bystanders would realize that if they stepped in between the bully and his prey, they could make a real difference. The bully is relying on everyone being afraid and fear is a powerful thing. If the bystanders would band together, they could send the bully running.

After watching the news, I’ve wondered, “What can I do?” I’ve supported humanitarian efforts and will continue to do so. I continue to lift Ukrainians up in prayer. But I felt there had to be something else I could do. So, I’m using words to bring attention to what is happening and to ask everyone to support Ukraine in some way. I’m not a politician or celebrity, but a regular person with too much to do, just like you. It’s easy to think that others will do something, but what if they don’t?

We see so much violence around us. It’s easy to become desensitized. We’ve come out of two years of COVID trauma, and our lives won’t be the same. But don’t use that as an excuse. Use your talents to help the Ukrainian people.

I call on U.S. and world leaders to not just say they support Ukraine, but to act on that support. When Ukraine’s leaders communicate a need, then let’s meet that need to the best of our ability. And, as we say in the South, don’t let it take a month of Sundays, meaning a long time, to do it!

Melanie Edwards Temple

Conway, NC