BE KEPT ALIVE AND PROTECTED
Today marks the closure of the week-long official commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. However, commemorative activities will continue across the country, at least until July 4 – the day when the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) soldiers brought to an end the 100-day killing spree.
Even as Rwandans remember their loved ones for the 17th year, the grief that has gripped the nation over the past one week is proof that the wounds are still fresh.
This year’s theme, ‘Upholding the Truth, Preserving our dignity’, combines two important values that are key to building a better Rwanda: truth and self-worth. By continuously observing these values, Rwandans will remain true to their history, which will spur successive generations to ably deliver the country to its aspirations.
That said, however, there shouldn’t be a time when Rwandans lose track or a sense of their own history. As the nation marches on to prosperity, it is important that every Rwandan always finds time to reflect on the past, with a view to determining what form of contribution they should offer to make Rwanda a better place for us all.
It is important that, even as the country officially concludes the mourning week, commemoration becomes part of our national life, and not a one-off event. Indeed, it should not stop at reflection.
Individually and collectively, Rwandans should continue to support the survivors; retrieve and accord decent burial to the remains of victims; maintain and upgrade Genocide memorial sites; use every available platform to uphold the truth about the country’s history; and help set the record straight whenever there are attempts to distort the history.
Let’s all commit ourselves to ‘Never again’ as we keep the memory alive.