Monday, July 31, 2006

We Will Remember Them

Talking about unity and nationhood reminds me that tomorrow, July 31, is our Remembrance Day. On that very day last year I wrote two short columns on “The Real Ties That Bind” and “Lest We Forget Our Remembrance Day”.
I will not forget Remembrance Day and all it means to me. The long phalanx of our fallen heroes of all races and creeds will pass before my eyes as I remember them. As I look around at the myriad edifices and testimonials of our tremendous progress since those last dark days of colonial subjugation, I cannot but thank them for their supreme sacrifice.

“They went with songs to battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old,
As we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, not the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”

(Laurence Binyon b.1869)

On this day too, my heart will go out to all the innocent people killed and still being killed in the conflicts around us particularly in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa – poor children. Poor sick and inform, poor women.
To all freedom fighters who against injustice, colonialism, oppression and occupation, I offer you my best salute,
May God be with you.


The following was taken from an article in The SundayStar, 30 July 2006, and as I read the papers of the past week and read the words from this article I think about the fragility of life and the innocent people and people of sacrificed themselves for a greater cause, the cause of peace.

So many lives are lost each day. Children who will never see their parents again, who will never experience their first kiss or play with their Barbie Dolls, or go to school or even have any of their own children or even to smile with their toothy grins. Children who were taken away too fast… too soon.

Each day there are innocents being killed in their sleep, people being persecuted, people being murdered, raped and violated and we sit in our own homes and watch television and MTV and worry about what we are going to eat for dinner. We watch the horrors on TV and thank God we are in a sae country but when the TV is turned to AXN or HBO, we forget the horrors we saw and push it out of our mind lest we upset ourselves too much.

What can we do? A friend once asked me. We are only one!

And I was at a lost for words because although my heart aches every time I read and see pictures and footage of war torn countries, or countries devastated by natural disasters, my heart breaks a little and I feel my eyes tearing and my nose clogging but I am at a lost of what to do. Surely the Lord has put me here on earth for something?

Although I am one, I can change the world I believe.
Yes you nod to yourself; the little idealist in her speaks again. The fairies are talking to her and she is in her little world of fairy tales. But all great heroes, all great people with visions believed in themselves, in the power that they had to change the world or to make a difference… even though they never could save an entire planet, to save even one soul or one heart from breaking would be reward enough in my eyes and I am sure in theirs too.

Sometimes I think we tend to live so much for ourselves that we cannot see beyond that circle of “us”. We always want better things for us; I do not deny I myself am as such. But lately I have begun to wonder about others around me that need so much help and who are in such dire situations. Who have lost everything and yet can smile… while I with the sulky expression flounce of to my room to sulk some more when denied the remote control to watch a different programme. What or Who gives them the strength to go on? God and your family and loved ones I suppose or your own sheer self determination.

I don’t know where my ramblings or my post is going. Its too big a topic to touch on especially for a lunch hour rambling… but I just know that life is meant to be more than what I have now. It is more than the social outings I go to occasionally, more than the clothes I buy, the movies I see, the places I have been. I am trying to find out that missing piece in my life and to fill the emptiness and to stop the tears from falling each time I read about the pain that has been inflicted on others.

The gift of empathy, a gift of sympathy, compassion and of understanding has been bestowed upon me by the Holy Spirit I was told once by a priest while on retreat on a mountain several years ago. Use your gift do not keep it inside. Perhaps its mumbo jumbo to you guys but I believe in it whole heartedly and I will try to fix that pain I see in my own way and perhaps one day, the pain will finally end for someone and my emptiness will be filled.
But for now, I will remember them all of them who have sarificed their lives and their time to help others, the people who have suffered, who have died and who have lost everything they have and I pray that in time they may find happiness and peace in their lives.

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