For 100 days, very many innocent lives were taken and each day of the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi, someone lost a mother, father, child, aunt, uncle, cousin or friend. And as it has been estimated, over 1million people were killed. Now, I don’t think those one million lives can be commemorated in just a week. A week is simply not enough.
Every person who lost a relative in that turmoil should have a chance to mourn with the nation. This gives a lot of emotional satisfaction. Just the thought of knowing that someone is there with you to help you through is comforting. I am not saying the nation’s activities should come to a standstill in the one month or so. The main activities can go on. But for each day, the government or a few groups can organize activities for each day at different places where the survivors can go to remember their loved ones.
Or, it can be a place set up specifically for mourning -somewhere a person can go say after work or any time of the day and commemorate.
This place can have lit candles and the victims’ names. If possible, each day, there should be a different list containing the names of the people who died that day.
Edwin, a writer, echoes my thoughts and says that people died at different times, thus calling for a celebration for their lives on each of those days. “It would be unrealistic to celebrate all those lives in just one week,” he says.
Moureen, a secretary, says limiting the commemoration to a week means that some relatives will have holes in their hearts. She argues that those whose people never died in the first week will feel left out.
And for the sake of the orphans and windows, Moureen says that the commemoration should be extended for more than a week. “Usually the public comes out to help the orphans and widows during the week. Yet I believe they need those 100 days (and more) because they have lived in trying moments so, a week can’t make up for it.”
In conclusion, a week is just not enough to remember the 1,074,017 loved ones that were lost during that gruesome time in 1994!