John Fonfara

State Senator

John Fonfara

Deputy President Pro Tempore

March 2, 2022

Sen. Fonfara Offers Support to Ukraine

HARTFORD – State Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford), who is the grandson of Ukranian immigrants, spoke today on the Senate floor to offer his support to the people of Ukraine after Russia invaded their country.

Here is a transcript of his remarks:

“I rise to recognize the incredible bravery being shown by the Ukrainian people who have stood strong in the face of an overwhelming military force of an invading country and the barbarian who is its leader.

Madam President, I rise as the grandson of Ukrainian immigrants who came to this country in the early 1900s, my grandmother an orphan at 2 years old, came to America alone at age 18. To say that I have never been prouder to be Ukrainian is no exaggeration. But I know Sen Kushner and I are not alone today because in this circle, in this building, and in this country, we are all Ukrainian.

80 years ago, Nazi Germany staged a group of false flag operations to create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany. Adolf Hitler used the reports of those actions as justification to invade Poland, which was the beginning of WWII and the deaths of millions.

Today we watch colorized film of battles fought in that war, march in parades commemorating that war, lament the overwhelming loss of life at the hands of a megalomaniac, and then assign it to history.

But sadly, history does repeat itself. Sadder still is it began in eerily similar fashion as it did then, but this time it was just six days ago, and continues today, brave soldiers, young men who just a week ago were in school or at work, mothers and grandmothers caring for their children now on trains or foot to places unknown.

We listen to those who have stayed and are prepared to fight and die for their country, for their culture, for their freedom. We hear them say they don’t want to live under a system where placing flowers in protest results in arrest and incarceration. They say they want to be like us.

Those words should make us appreciate that despite divisions so deep, and challenges seemingly so great in our country, there are still those in other countries who want to be like us. The lesson in those words is that which divides us is far less than what we take for granted or worse, that these rights and opportunities are enjoyed by everyone in the world. Clearly they are not.

We may not take up arms alongside the people of Ukraine, but we can commit to work together to create a more perfect union in this country that, I pray, will make us worthy of those who, today, are giving their lives – – to be like us.

May God bless and protect the people of Ukraine.”