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Freedom is more precious than safety, than security, than life itself. It is why we give our life for freedom. My colleagues and I just spent some time in Ukraine working with social workers, health professionals, first responders and anyone interested in resilience in the time of war. Compassion fatigue is setting in as three years of active invasion is weary on the soul. And yet, retreat is not an option. Heroes do not give up. Love will have the final say. Justice wins in the end. History bends towards the work of the angels, humans who do not cease to respond to the evils of the world, but arise and shine, bloody and wounded, and yet, they arise and shine. Together, they arise and shine.

On this Memorial Day, take time to meditate and contemplate on the price that has been paid and keeps being paid, the blood shed, and the lives given, for our freedom. In addition, consider your responsibility in honoring this freedom in the way that you live. The things you give your attention to. What do you prioritize. For where your attention goes, is who you become, and who you become is how you contribute to society, to community, to life, to the very preservation of freedom. You are necessary. We all are.

Is the story you are living worth the price that was paid? This is not a light question. It must be felt deeply and considered entirely.

As we daily walked the long central street of Khmelnitsky, Ukraine… Large memorials, pictures of fallen soldiers and their stories, were displayed for all to see. Some just passed but a week ago. Many were my age. Mid thirties. Poets, athletes, musicians… brothers, fathers, husbands, sons… all gave their lives so that maybe the children of Ukraine can live in freedom.

As I return home, to the American flag, to the sea of diversity, the many colors of our nation, the reason my parents moved our family here after the fall of the Soviet Union.. so that we can be free and use our freedom to set others free… I feel deeply about my life and the responsibly that befalls me and my fellow brothers and sisters… the responsibility to live intentional lives, worthy of the great price paid.

I pray today that we all take some time to truly give thanks for freedom, for the warriors who gave their lives through the many many years… Take time to give thanks, take time to honor, take time to remember, take time to pray for those still fighting for this freedom. And remind your loved one to do the same.



Dr. Alina

Tulsa Trauma Counselor

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