Can one man save the world?

Christians believe that more than 2,000 years ago, God sent Jesus Christ among us to save us from self destruction. Jesus gave his life in that endeavor, hopefully not in vain.

On this paper’s Opinion Page in the July 21 edition, I made a commentary that featured a modern-day savior, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, who is boldly fighting for the freedom of his country and indirectly, the rest of the world.

I stated that the outcome of the ongoing and brutal invasion by Russia will determine not only the destiny of  Ukraine but of the rest of the world. If Russian President Vladimir Putin succeeds, he will not stop at Ukraine, but will attempt to conquer adjacent NATO countries, which could trigger WWIII.

That’s why my column today is about the story of a songwriter, humanitarian and the heroic man who saved lives,  John Ondrasik, who entered the scene while in Afghanistan working with elite  rescue teams to bring home a few of the more than 700 remaining American citizens abandoned there. I will relate John’s words and story as best as memory serves.

As I recall, John received a call from a friend in Poland asking if he was interested in hosting a fundraiser by composing a song to bring attention to Ukraine’s plight. A Polish orchestra was planned to accompany him. John agreed and hopped on a flight to Poland.

En route he composed the lyrics and melody to “Can One Man Save The World,” which featured President Zelenskyy. Upon arriving in Poland, John was informed the world-class Ukrainian orchestra would accompany him while he sang and played in the war-torn rubble of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.

John was astonished to find himself in Ukraine — in wartime — with a world-class orchestra. He prepared for the long and arduous overland journey to Kyiv.

I watched this amazing, heart-felt performance one early morning on the only veteran, patriotic themed-TV channel available to me that I feel presents some semblance of the truth to its viewers out there. It was awesome and spellbinding.

I’m told this performance can be downloaded or heard on YouTube, and it is worth watching. Thank you, John Ondrasik, for the outstanding work you and fellow patriots do for humanity and for pursuing the preservation of peace and freedom around the world.

The success of Ukraine’s survival and defensive is absolutely essential to the defense of the rest of the world’s. We must provide all of the defensive measures requested of us; the Ukrainian leaders and the Ukrainian citizens have proven they’re willing to do the heavy lifting.

WWIII is not an option we want on the table — or we will all lose.

God bless you, patriotic readers, and your families. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Please stay safe and look out for one another.


Town of North East resident Larry Conklin is a Vietnam War veteran and a member of both the Millerton American Legion Post 178 and the Couch-Pipa VFW Post 6851 in North Canaan, Conn.

Latest News

Inspiring artistic inspiration at the Art Nest in Wassaic

Left to right: Emi Night (Lead Educator), Luna Reynolds (Intern), Jill Winsby-Fein (Education Coordinator).

Natalia Zukerman

The Wassaic Art Project offers a free, weekly drop-in art class for kids aged K-12 and their families every Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m. The Art Nest, as it’s called, is a light, airy, welcoming space perched on the floor of the windy old mill building where weekly offerings in a variety of different media lead by professional artists offer children the chance for exploration and expression. Here, children of all ages and their families are invited to immerse themselves in the creative process while fostering community, igniting imaginations, and forging connections.

Emi Night began as the Lead Educator at The Art Nest in January 2024. She studied painting at Indiana University and songwriting at Goddard College in Vermont and is both a visual artist and the lead songwriter and singer in a band called Strawberry Runners.

Keep ReadingShow less
Weaving and stitching at Kent Arts Association

A detail from a fabric-crafted wall mural by Carlos Biernnay at the annual Kent Arts Association fiber arts show.

Alexander Wilburn

The Kent Arts Association, which last summer celebrated 100 years since its founding, unveiled its newest group show on Friday, May 11. Titled “Working the Angles,” the exhibition gathers the work of textile artists who have presented fiber-based quilts, landscapes, abstracts, and mural-sized illustrations. The most prominently displayed installation of fiber art takes up the majority of the association’s first floor on South Main Street.

Bridgeport-based artist Carlos Biernnay was born in Chile under the rule of the late military dictator Augusto Pinochet, but his large-scale work is imbued with fantasy instead of suffering. His mix of influences seems to include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s popular German libretto “The Magic Flute” — specifically The Queen of the Night — as well as Lewis Carol’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” The Tudor Court, tantalizing mermaids and exotic flora.

Keep ReadingShow less
Let there be Night: How light pollution harms migrating birds
Alison Robey

If last month’s solar eclipse taught me anything, it’s that we all still love seeing cool stuff in the sky. I don’t think we realize how fast astronomical wonders are fading out of sight: studies show that our night skies grow about 10% brighter every year, and the number of visible stars plummets as a result. At this rate, someone born 18 years ago to a sky with 250 visible stars would now find only 100 remaining.

Vanishing stars may feel like just a poetic tragedy, but as I crouch over yet another dead Wood Thrush on my morning commute, the consequences of light pollution feel very real. Wincing, I snap a photo of the tawny feathers splayed around his broken neck on the asphalt.

Keep ReadingShow less