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2022’s Alamo Moment


Don MacNeil is the former Marketing Director of Windsor Jewelers and long-time on-air radio professional.


Is it just me, or…

2022’s Alamo Moment

We’re blessed in this country for many reasons, and among them is the happy geographical accident of a 3,000-mile moat on either side of us, which has served us well for our 246 years. It suggests that for us it won’t one day be the Visigoths coming over the hill but a complacent rot from within that does us in, but that’s a discussion for another day.

No, that moat has limited our deaths from conflicts – apart from our Civil War – to those times when our sons and daughters were called to battlegrounds elsewhere, while we, spared nightly bombings and house-to-house combat, always knew that despite ration books and similar privations, our beds were still there each night.

Because of this, American Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials and now Gen Zers are all but certain that great historical moments seem always to happen somewhere else and in a different era.

The Battle of the Alamo, for example, took place almost two centuries ago (see photo above). Did the defenders know, as they stared down certain death, that they would be rendered folk heroes, that the battle’s site would become a shrine and their story woven into the fabric of their nation’s mythic narrative?

I would shake the shoulders of those four generations and tell them that real, long-to-be-remembered history is happening right now, and don’t miss it. And my wish for all Ukrainians carrying a gun would be the foreknowledge that they are guaranteed a place in their country’s Valhalla, because, by all accounts, that’s where they’re headed.

We are witnessing Ukraine’s Alamo. At this very moment, unspeakable heroism is taking place, and I’d like to think that someone, somewhere is already designing the monument that’ll stand in center Kyiv one day with every courageous name carved into it.

And after days of news channel commentary, I’m still waiting to hear the most fundamental of questions, like, what could Putin be thinking?

Will the Russia-Ukraine conflict be this generation’s 9-11 or Alamo moment? (Photo by Michael Foran via Wikimedia)

Ukrainians have enjoyed an entire generation of self-determination. Once you show a human or a country freedom, they’ll never go back. Can he not grasp that? Or is he stuck in 1946 when Stalin called the shots and a devastated Eastern Europe could do little but obey?

A never-ending Ukrainian insurgency is all but assured, and that’s if Putin doesn’t as much as crack a teacup. Bomb a people and they never forget. Like Americans with 9-11 and Jews with the Holocaust, this injury will be woven into Ukraine’s national narrative in perpetuity and its participants forever celebrated.

Guys especially are fascinated by war films because we all ask ourselves how we would act if we were there. Americans are doing the same in front of their screens now. Like the Alamo, there will be songs, books, inspiring slogans and films. Especially films. You weren’t there in 1836, but you’re “there” now. Don’t miss it.

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