The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Op-Ed: Reflecting on a year of war

So much has happened in Ukraine this past year. 

So much has happened since that first night, a year ago today, when Russian missiles rained down over their peaceful neighbor’s dark sky. 

So much has happened since I first put pen to paper, since my first op-ed on this topic. 

So many terrible, terrible things. Murders. Mass graves. Rapes. Abductions. Every morning we awoke to news of more war crimes being committed against innocent civilians in Ukraine. The torture these people were being put through. The blood that was and continues to be spilled day after day for a nonsensical war. 

In the beginning, we were scared the world would ignore us. We kept pushing for more and more and more. More coverage, more donations, more ammunition. We held our ground. And soon the rest of the world came around. We became a symbol of hope.  For the future of democracy. For a world that rewards the brave and not the power-hungry. 

Now we’ve seen that the Western world supports Ukraine. Money was given; supplies were sent. President Zelensky spoke to Congress for more. This past week, President Biden visited Kyiv. Enough? Not until the war is done. We keep pushing for more. 

On campus, we protested and fundraised and rallied. My senior spring turned into a semester dedicated to doing more, writing more and donating more. I was exhausted. I was trying my best. But it was nothing in comparison to all the work happening on the frontlines. 

And here we are, a full year later, and Ukraine still stands. Ukraine continues to fight. 

Do you? Last year I pleaded that you stay educated. That you kept up with what was happening, that you kept donating and keeping Ukraine in your prayers. 

I know it’s so easy to become numb to the news. It’s easy to not know what’s going on when it’s not right in front of your face. People aren’t dying in your streets. Airstrikes aren’t looming over your head. News story after news story pops up on your phone, and after a while, it becomes easier to just swipe away. 

I get it. I, too, am susceptible to this. I am in no way an expert on every detail that has happened this past year in Ukraine. I know it’s easier to compartmentalize the war and just keep moving forward to live your life in peace. Numbness becomes a coping mechanism to get through another day.  

So I ask that today you chose the hard path. Reflect on this year of pain. Think about all the Ukrainian people that have sacrificed themselves in the name of freedom. The people who couldn’t just push the news aside every morning. The ones who lived and died in it. 

Do not let this date pass you by without acknowledging how much Ukraine has defended this year. Honor all we have lost. Process this history we are living in.   

Here I am a year later with the same plea: Please stay educated. Please keep donating. Please keep pushing for more. We’re in a long game now and the momentum cannot stop. We must continue to fight. 

The war must end. Ukraine must win. 

I do not want to write a follow-up piece a year from now. 

Slava Ukraini & Heroyem Slava.

Deanna Hanchuck ’22 is a Ukrainian-American alum. She organized United for Ukraine in the spring of 2022.

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About the Contributor
Deanna Hanchuk, Managing Editor
Deanna eats, sleeps, and breathes the newsroom. A page designer turned design director, Deanna has spent the last four years making sure the newspaper looks pretty in print. Now as managing editor, she oversees the business, delivery, and design teams... and still makes sure the paper looks pretty in print. You can find her either at her desk in the newsroom or at her desk in the ChemE fishbowl. As a chemical engineer and international studies dual degree, Deanna has her toes dipped all over campus. She's the president of the Marquis Scholars and Fellows, a PR and Marketing chair on Student Government, a tour guide, and an Excel scholar in the History department (studying the sociocultural history of yerba mate. It's cool stuff).

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