Translation from Ukrainian
Ambassador of Ukraine
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
United States of America
On the 150th anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln, eminent political leader and historical personality, it is my privilege and great honor to have an opportunity to share thoughts on the implication of his outstanding legacy in Ukraine.
The guidelines defined by Abraham Lincoln have become determining indeed not only not only for the United States of America, but are also affecting groundbreaking developments far beyond its borders. His legacy worth talking for hours. However, for every Ukrainian citizen there are three short, but so important key words, which crystallize it: freedom, patriotism and wisdom.
American nation knows well what the value of freedom is. Americans fought for their freedom in the War of Independence and forged it in the Civil War and Selma to Montgomery marches.
Ukrainians were fighting for their freedom for centuries. We re-emerged as an independent state peacefully after the USSR collapse. Today we have to defend our freedom and independence from multiple threats on all fronts: economic, information, diplomatic and military.
It is a difficult challenge for us. We have never craved that and have always been building friendly relationships with all countries. Nevertheless, these hardships were inflicted on us perhaps to make us feel with the every inch of our bodies how precious is our freedom for us, how careful are we to guard it.
The word patriotism got a new reading for us when in 2014-2015 we were witnessing Ukraine's best sons sacrificing most valuable - their lives - to defend our freedom from the blatant aggressor. Our eyes filled with tears, and our hearts torn on pieces from pain. However, on that dramatic moment everyone has felt himself as an integral part, citizen and patriot of Ukraine.
The genuine wisdom of a statesman, wisdom of a kind Abraham Lincoln had, is needed to settle peacefully all contradictions and stop a bloodshed forever. Ukraine strives to move this way. We comply with our international commitments and are open for dialogue on the most sensitive issues as an equal partner. Just as we are, the whole world is expecting wisdom to prevail over an aspiration to extend forcibly the zone of influence in the international relations. We are confident that we will reach this point. We hope it will happen as soon as possible...
Meanwhile, we are to remain wise, preserve the sense of genuine patriotism and be self-aware as a free nation.