Pageantry evoking Churchill greets Zelenskyy in Washington

Washington: At a time of grave consequence, a wartime leader crossed the Atlantic to arrive at a White House decked in holiday decor to consult with the American president about a war in Europe.

The moment was Dec. 22, 1941, as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill landed near Washington to meet with President Franklin D. Roosevelt just weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Almost 81 years later to the day, the pageantry of that trip was echoed on Wednesday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr

Zelenskyy is a changed leader since he last came to the White House more than a year ago, when Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine was still over history’s horizon. The former comedian was somber, even grim, in a black suit as he spoke about threats to his country’s security. Now perpetually dressed in army green fatigues, he evokes comparisons to Churchill for his fierce defense of a country facing an existential crisis.

His heightened stature on the world stage was reflected as soon as he entered the White House grounds, where he was greeted by a color guard lining the driveway on a brisk winter day. A red carpet was waiting for him, and Zelenskyy shook hands with Biden and first lady Jill Biden. Together, they posed for pictures before ducking into the building.

Image courtesy of (Image: AP)

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