In announcing that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is Time magazine’s 2022 Person of the Year, Edward Felsenthal, Time’s Editor in Chief, writes that the process of choosing the Person of the Year “can be agonizing.” He asks, “How could one person represent an entire year? Do we lean into the light, reach into the darkness, or land somewhere in between?”
When I first read the announcement, I turned to my wife and said, “How could it have been anyone else?”
Felsenthal seems to agree. “This year’s choice was the most clear-cut in memory,” he writes. “Whether the battle for Ukraine fills one with hope or with fear, Volodymyr Zelensky galvanized the world in a way we haven’t seen in decades,” he continues.
I also said to my wife, “I would have included the brave people of Ukraine in this honor.”
I believe Time intends to do exactly that, as the Person of the Year includes “The Spirit of Ukraine…embodied by countless individuals inside and outside the country.”
The honor belongs to Zelensky and the 43 million Ukrainians who stayed, who left and who died fighting for their freedom.
The Ukrainian leader, who has come to personify the nation’s resistance since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February, has characterized the war as a struggle by a peace-loving people seeking freedom from tyranny.
Read more about Time’s 2022 Person of the Year here.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.