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Published in A&U Magazine, May 2013

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They left so abruptly,
the valiant ones.

Countless,
many known,
many more nameless.

The truest sons and singers,
husbands and poets,
lovers and wives,
daughters and farmers,
workers and sisters,
brothers and friends.

They left so abruptly,
with quiet pride,
a steely courage,

and a gentle dignity.

They left so abruptly,
leaving us our tomorrows,

brighter!
Hopeful!

filled with promise.

They left so abruptly,
so that we may breathe,

the breath of liberty!

The air of freedom!

The warmth of justice!

They left so abruptly,
leaving with us their parting gift …

freedom!
inkululeko!
swatantrata!
liberte!
azadi!
vhudilangi!
libertad!
esteghlal!

They left so abruptly,
yet we remember them all today,

and in the days to come,
their legacy will light our way!

They left so abruptly,
yet they remain!

Hewn into our memory and conscience,
engraved in our heart!

They left so abruptly,
and yet they endure,

with us,
within us,

now and forever more!

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