This day, marks the 25th commemoration to the end of – what was undoubtedly a tragic consequence of a systemic and systematically cultivated and entrenched hatred for the Tutsi – the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
We remember to honour the memory of the victims of that systematically entrenched campaign of hatred for the Tutsi in Rwanda.
We also remember to honour those sung or unsung heroes who bravely and selflessly put their lives on the line to defend the victims and fight the genocidal forces and put a decisive end to their genocidal scheme – and thus salvage the day, rescuing the survivors whose harrowing tragic tales must, undoubtedly, be constantly told and retold so to ring loud and clear to be heard, so that for posterity, and hopefully, nothing of that tragic human destruction can be allowed to repeat – but in the process, lost their own lives. May their brave and selfless souls never be forgotten!
Similarly, we also remember to equally honour those who bravely and selflessly put their lives on the line to defend the victims and to fight the genocidal forces and put a decisive end to their genocidal scheme and who, luckily, survived by the skin of their teeth albeit with everlasting wounds, physical and/or psychological or both, they have had to deal with ever since.
The post-genocide against the Tutsi trauma affects both the survivors of the genocide and, yes, truth be said, those who survived the battles in the bloody fight against the genocidal forces and the marauding murderous, genocide committing, bloodthirsty trained ‘Interahamwe’ militia, to bring to a decisive end to that tragic, dark moment, in our history.
It imaginably has been and remains tough for them, as indeed, it is for the survivors of the genocide against the Tutsi, they helped rescue. They deserve all recognition and all the support. They are everywhere, in our midst, wasting away quietly while we, consciously or unconsciously, quietly ignore them! May their bravery and selflessness, too, never be forgotten and/or taken for granted, for they started and provided the foundation for and on which Rwanda stands today, and on which we should bravely and selflessly keep building and stand to defend Rwanda, and never allow what happened twenty five years ago today, ever happen again.
Likewise, we remember as a way to weave together a collective memory and to keep that memory, however tragic it is, alive and fresh in our living memories, so it can carry and be passed on from generation to generation, failure of which, to quote the late Great Chinua Achebe, “The memory the survivors must have, otherwise their surviving would have no meaning. The knowledge that others have suffered and died. It is this memory, the memory that is necessary if surviving is going to be more than a technical thing.”
Needless to mention, consciously or not, we remember because it is a psychological process of therapy, as a way to deal with our memories, to face up to our memories – as tragic and harrowing as they might be – so we can have both the courage and conviction to move on with life; without letting the memories hold us back or work against us to negatively affect our present and effectively inhibit our progress and growth to make today and the future, better so that the past, more so, an unfortunate and tragic past, is never repeated.
We also remember for redemption and with that in mind, the following quote speaks more and louder and is apropos to the mark and the essence of remembering and speaks to the event today, the 25th commemoration against the Tutsi, “In remembrance is the secret of redemption”
It is also important to bear in mind, while we remember today, especially with the vestiges of the genocidal forces yearning to complete what they regard as “unfinished” business of a total annihilation of the Tutsis off the surface of Rwandan soil and possibly anywhere and everywhere in the world and their genocidal ideology – manifest in various forms such as the insidious attempts of genocide denial and their profound inane intent on creating a sort of moral equivalence of a ‘double’ genocide – that the struggle for liberation is never complete; it is continuous.
For each era, comes with and presents its own challenges on humanity and human freedoms and liberties and if not appropriately dealt with, vehemently struggled against and defeated, risk degenerating humanity itself into the inhumanity against humanity similar to the tragic events of 1994 in Rwanda, the memory of which we hold and refresh today by commemorating the 25th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi and ultimately the 25th year to its end by the brave, selfless men and women of the RPA/RPF movement, without their bravery, selfless sacrifice, suffice to say and dare emphasise, the world and Rwanda in particular, would be a completely different place today.
We remember you today. We will remember you tomorrow. We will always remember you, in silence, in speeches and, indeed, in deeds.