Our heroes sacrificed their dreams, their years, their comforts, their plans, their private loves and passions, lives to be lived. Their life was given to us and taken from them before the bullet hit them. When each lover of freedom chose to fight, they chose to sacrifice their one chance at this existence we see, they sacrificed a whole universe which they were yet to experience. They willingly ceased to exist, so that we would have life and freedom. It is this selfless love for freedom that stands as the great monument inspiring a people to never forget to fight for what they deserve.

Our martyred heroes had their own miracles they aspired to. We didn’t just lose numbers; we lost all the history that would come with their presence. We lost what they could build, the wealth they could create, the books they would write, the leaders they would be, the carers of parents and the parents they would be, the institutions they would build; the preachers, the teachers, the healers, the farmers they would be, the youth they missed.

And for what did the tens of thousands of martyrs — sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, cousins, nephews, nieces, uncles, lovers, friends, leaders, those ordinary human beings whom love transformed into heroes — what did they die for? They died so that we become the owners of our own destinies, so that we would never again know fear in our own homes, so that we would multiply and prosper, so that we would create and progress, so that we would pursue our happiness in peace. They paid their lives to teach us that it is better to die an honest death fighting for freedom than to live a lie and die slowly in the shame of oppression. Keeping their promise is a matter of choosing freedom over slavery, choosing life over desolation, choosing responsibility over victimhood.

They have sacrificed too much already; we cannot kill them again by letting our freedom go, by letting the robbers kill us. If we do not keep strong, if we do not reject anything less than freedom, if we do not fight, we become their killers; if we lie to ourselves, we become the cowards they went out to defeat.

We do not fight for change because we feel like it, we fight for change because the promise we carry is too great and too noble to ignore. Through the strength of our heroes we have promised to become strong, through their love we have promised to love all our countrymen, through the immensity of their sacrifice we promise to go beyond our petty selves and work to save a nation, through their vision we have promised to see far beyond our fears.