27 Apr

My grandpa’s memorial service was today.

Today is Freedom Day.

Much of what was said about him was about his time as a principal in the 1960s and 70s.

And about his principles, of respect, dignity, justice, freedom.

He made public statements calling for open schools, dreaming of a day when children of any race could attend any school.

Decrying the evil of apartheid.

So many people said that his speaking out, had made them speak up too.

Maybe not that day, but when their day came.

They remembered those principles, and stood by them.

Today, “his” school choir sang, and not a single child was white.

Today is Freedom Day.

I hear people say that because POSIB passed, we shouldn’t celebrate Freedom Day.

That because our country still faces devastating and real problems, we shouldn’t celebrate Freedom Day.

Do you look out and see clouds and decide it’s already raining?

And stay inside, and not go out again?

Or do you take an umbrella but go out anyway?

And dance in the sunbeams?

I say because we face challenges, we should celebrate harder.

Because our grandparents and parents fought so hard for the freedoms we do enjoy, we should celebrate harder.

Because we want our children and our grandchildren to have the freedoms we have and even more, we should celebrate harder.

This is our day, and we must speak up.

Not give up.

Today is Freedom Day.

Today my grandpa’s soul is free.

But his principles remain: respect, dignity, justice, freedom.

Happy Freedom Day.


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