March 11, 2022
To our valued PID Floors’ customers and friends,
I was born in Kharkiv, one of the largest cities in Ukraine (at the time a Soviet Republic). Today, that place is so distant to me, a place that I might only see again in a photo. My family fled oppression in the 80's and this beautiful country America welcomed us with open arms. Hard work and deep appreciation for every opportunity along with a ton of good luck has brought us to this moment today.
I was embarrassed in some way as a child to say where I was from. Different language, culture, I felt like an outsider all my life growing up. My heart and soul were filled with cultures and norms that maybe I didn’t see as much growing up around all different people. It was easier to say I was Russian instead of Ukrainian – it’s all the same really. Growing up my family didn't speak about life in the USSR, maybe they were too scared to bring back horrible memories, maybe nothing positive could have been said, but it was always there. This feeling inside of me that, although I’m as American as can be, there is much more to me – a heritage going back hundreds of years that was not a significant part of my life day to day.
Today this feeling has changed. The same sense of loneliness and disconnection is now coupled with guilt and regret. Am I doing enough to represent the Ukrainian heritage of my family and provide support to the men, women, and children that are now being forced to fight for their lives? Would I be able to be as brave as them in the face of such evil and senseless violence?
I look around and see my father and family members broken, with a deep sadness and disbelief that something like this could happen. Prior to the invasion I asked around - each and every person said, without hesitation, that it’s impossible for an invasion to occur, it’s nonsense, it’s never going to happen. Why would anyone cause such destruction and pain upon people that are so deeply intertwined and connected to their own culture and tradition?
My wife has family today in Ukraine, ready for whatever comes their way, knowing that there is no way out now. Bravely they are somehow forcing themselves to only look forward and hope for peace. If that peace does not come, and the fight comes to their doorstep, they are ready to fight –old and young, they are convinced deep down in their hearts - the Ukraine is united, Europe is united, and that democracy and freedom will prevail, good will win. Time and time again history has shown us the good will win, and the strength and resolve of ordinary people fighting for what’s right can and will triumph over seemingly unstoppable forces.
PID Floors has mobilized all our efforts to work hand in hand with our European partners and provide support, clothing, food, baby clothes, and anything else we can to aid in the effort to end the suffering across Ukraine. We implore you to help in any way you can, and the following are organizations doing a lot of good on the ground:
I am American, I am Jewish, and always and forever my blood is Ukranian. Slava Ukraini!