It is an atrocity and a tragedy not unlike the Spanish Red Terror – when Communist revolutionaries desecrated Catholic churches and massacred Catholic clergy, even going so far as to exhume and execute in effigy the corpses of monks and nuns. For what is a monument but a symbolic grave – a grave for the memory, if not the body, of a person, or a people? Yet we, the Southern people, do not live in bronze or stone. As horrible as it is to lose our monuments, that is not to lose everything. We must become ‘living monuments’ of our people. The virtues that we admire in our heroes and that we once memorialised in these beautiful works of art? Now, more than ever, we must embody those virtues ourselves and make our lives beautiful. Our ancestors’ graves may be desecrated, but even if their memories are exhumed and executed in effigy, they themselves cannot be killed – and it is not because they are already dead. It is because they live in us.
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