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CXXIII

September 11, 2013

My sons and daughters, harken close to me:

Allow your eyes to close, and place a hand
upon your breast to feel your beating heart—
do I not feel the same two beats against
my hand when I place palm against my chest?
Bum-bum; bum-bum—is not my blood the same
as yours? Does it not flow as liquid through
my veins, to bring a blush up to my cheek
in temper or in love? I tell you true:
it is, and it is blood I shed for you—
in effort to unite your warring land—
I shed this blood for you! This heart
has pushed my lifeblood through these veins to bring
this flesh to fight for you! And now, the blood
that runs like fire through these young bodies here,
is pushed by hearts as great and strong as mine;
and though it falls upon the earth, or freezes
in their veins, it glows with honour—see
it in their eyes!—and ever more shall glow
in history. These are our heroes, now—
though many say that children have no pow’r,
that children cannot change the world, nor can
the young accomplish things of great import—
these are our heroes now. Their blood, our blood;
their hearts, our hearts: they fight for family,
for futures bright, for honour, glory, fame—
they fight so we may live. They are not children
to my eyes, but heroes, strong, and tall.
Can you not see their noble sacrifice?
Can you not see their glowing blood?
Can you not see the way they shape the hearts
and souls of everyone that’s here today?
These are no children—no! they stand as gods
upon that balcony, whose struggles bless
the thirsting earth, whose hands provide us life—
can you not see their glowing blood?
These are no mortal bodies here, but things
divine—they shall no more be killed than light
is killed at dusk, for they shall rise, and rise
again, forever burning as the sun!
These are our heroes, saviours, gods—raise up
your thanks, for from their hands—not mine—come life.
My sons and daughters, we shall see them rise.
No longer call them children, and no longer
call them tributes—no! for they are gods!
Raise up your mortal voices with my own,
and we shall glorify their presence here!
My sons and daughters, let me hear your voice!

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