UK Foreign Minister Echoes Churchill’s Words at Westminster College Concerning Russian Aggression

The Right Hon. James Cleverly MP, UK Foreign Minister for Europe and North America, made a special trip to Westminster on April 12, 2022, to address students, faculty, staff, and the media on Latshaw Plaza.

The 12:15 p.m. presentation followed a meeting in Jefferson City, MO, with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, and members of the General Assembly.

Cleverly’s remarks focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the traditional strong bonds between the United Kingdom and United States. He generally referenced Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech delivered on Westminster’s campus on March 5, 1946.

“This college, this museum, stands as a permanent reminder of what we can achieve when we stick together, just as Sir Winston Churchill said we should,” Cleverly stated.

Underscoring Churchill’s continuing relevance today, Cleverly added, “In the midst of this terrible conflict, Sir Winston’s example of resilience and determination continues to inspire leaders. Indeed, [Ukraine’s] President Zelenskyy echoed Churchill’s speech when he addressed the UK Parliament so movingly last month.

“The people of Ukraine will ‘fight to the end. On the sea, and in the air, we will continue fighting for our land whatever the cost,'” Cleverly continued, quoting Churchill. “In turn, my prime minister, Boris Johnson, compared the Ukrainian president with Winston Churchill’s bravery in the leadership of his nation during this time of conflict. And I am sure we all share the Prime Minister’s admiration for the courage and dignity shown, not just by President Zelenskyy himself, but by all the Ukrainian people.”

Cleverly’s speech was delivered west of America’s National Churchill Museum in front of Breakthrough, a sculpture composed of eight sections of the Berlin Wall and created by Winston and Clementine Churchill’s granddaughter Edwina Sandys, who is a Churchill Fellow and internationally celebrated artist.

His address referenced Churchill’s categorization of UK/US bonds as a “special relationship,”  a term defined by Churchill during his “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster in 1946.

Symbolic of this bond, Cleverly’s visit to Westminster included a presentation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s book The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History.

He said the signed copy was presented “as a gift to recognize your [Westminster’s] particular part in that historic relationship.”

Following his remarks, Cleverly was eager to speak with students and tour the Museum. His presentation can be viewed on the website of America’s National Churchill Museum.

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.