Every nation,
And every nation that came before these nations,
Stands atop a mountain of corpses.

Most,
They stand on the mountain with a semblance of dignified solemnity;
Fists clenched at the sides,
Lips taut,
Firm on their feet, they face the east.

Some nations,
Though,
And maybe it’s due to a culture of inferiority,
Or maybe a penchant for masochism,
Or probably an alarming lack of education to know any better,
….Or maybe just the result of watching one too many soap operas boasting of a black-and-white morality that equates forgiveness with forgetting–

These nations,
They look back at the men who drove these corpses to the ground,
And they call these men
Heroes.

How could a nation who is so frantically trying to chase away the lingering ghosts of the colonizers who wronged them,
Honor the countryman who killed the very people he swore on oath to protect?

How could a nation who prides themselves on their hospitality and their ability to offer a smile to those in need,
Bear to silence the voices of the suffering of their own kin?

The countrymen cheer,
While the country weeps,
All on this uncharacteristically sunny afternoon.

The peace that I desire is not a peace that forgets.

The flesh that you trod on, unrecognizable as a black-and-blue, mangled, disfigured mess,
The bones that you snap and crush with every step of your easygoing gait,
The blood that clings to the soles of your Converse-trotting feet, that which can never be washed away;

To forget the dead you had to step on to get to where you are is to throw away any and every definition of the concept of humanity.

Corpses who were once people–
Mothers,
Fathers,
Students,
Journalists who sought out the truth,
Activists who presented the truth,
Civilians who were at the wrong place at the wrong time,
Children,
People who fought,
People who were killed,
People who would go through it all over again,
If only for the cause to be
free;
(Freedom, that was, apparently, an illusion;)
How can something so horrible be so easily forgotten by the same people who value the concept of the gift of life so dearly?

The peace that I desire is a peace that remembers.

I desire a peace that fights,
Not for the sake of fighting,
But for the sake of those who are unable to fight.

I desire a peace that is loud,
When it needs to be heard,
And a peace that is silent,
When it needs to listen.

I desire a peace that speaks of peace like a caress,
Not like a double-edged insult.

I desire a peace that makes love to its people,
All of its people,
And not just to those who were chosen to hold the flag.

I desire a peace that acknowledges the darkness of the past,
So it can proceed forward to the future with light in its hands.

I desire a peace that remembers,
One that forgives but never forgets,
If only for the sake of those who saw rain when we’ve only ever walked under the sun.

But this is not the kind of peace desired by the people who are capable of upholding their definition of peace.

And still,
The countrymen cheer,
While the country weeps.

Are we really that broken as a nation to not believe that we deserve the barest amount of self-respect?

– “8th of November” #NeverAgain

LL.

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