Today Aylwin is being sworn in. For the first time since I was 13, I will live in a country ruled by someone other than Pinochet. I can only hope that Aylwin will do enough to move this country forward. I am afraid he may not with Pinochet’s presence still looming within our government. I am uncharacteristically optimistic about his presidency. I am truly hopeful that the terror of the past 20 years is coming to an end. My friends worry about Aylwin. They remind me that he opposed Allende, and signed a document requesting military intervention to end Allende’s rule. However, I must be hopeful. It is easy to fall into cynicism, but I must stay optimistic.
I will not, however, allow optimism to be conflated with ignorance. I will not allow myself to forget what has happened in this country. I will not fall into this all to common trap that insists we must move on and forget what we witness. That remembering does no good. But until we have justice for all that disappeared, for the families that lost everything, we must be constantly remembering. We must live with what has happened here.