Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made his case to the United States Congress Wednesday for more aid in defending his homeland, and he zeroed in on the closest American equivalencies -- Pearl Harbor and 9/11.
Zelensky spoke by zoom to members who were not in the House Chamber -- where they usually have joint sessions of Congress -- they were all in the Capitol Visitors Center Congressional Auditorium. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced Zelensky with the same words she uses to intro our own Prez -- "It is my high privilege and distinct honor to present to you President Volodymyr Zelensky. She ended her introduction with "Glory to Ukraine." She tried to get members to chant the phrase, but they didn't.
Members were riveted as members heard Zelenksy's plea for aid. He presented a heartbreaking video of the toll the war has taken ... buildings bombed, civilians killed, buildings destroyed. It was difficult to watch, but it powerfully made his point.
Just a side note ... Zelensky's background in the entertainment industry can't be ignored. Presenting a highly-produced, emotional video with a solemn music bed.
Zelensky, who initially spoke in his native language, switched it up and spoke English, as he explained his country was fighting not just for its own freedom but for the freedom of Europe. He made the point freedom is not always internal ... it depends on what goes on around you.
He made it clear ... his people will not give up.
When Zelensky wrapped, members of Congress rose to their feet but the applause lasted only about 30 seconds, in sharp contrast to the reaction he got from members of the Canadian Parliament a few days earlier, where he got a 3-minute standing ovation.