I was not sure this day would come. I tried to maintain hope for so many years that freedom would come, but at some point the hope seems impossible. The idea of what you are longing for no longer seems concrete and real but rather nebulous and hazy. Even in the last year when it has become clearer every day that the Junta can not remain in power it was hard to believe that we could ever return to normalcy. The idea that the Junta could one day simply not hold power is remarkable. They will simply stop, and a new period will begin.
The words: democracy, freedom and, dignity, all are returning to their natural meanings. It is difficult to adjust them in ones mind so quickly, and yet in reality they already have. Democracy once again means that those who are chosen by the people will rule the country. Freedom once again means that the fear of arrest and disappearance will be lifted, and civil society will return. Dignity once again means that people can be proud to live in a country of their own making and take pride in their unity with their fellow Argentines.
We still have much work to do. There are so many who are still poor. They have been made poor by the government that is leaving power. They can not share the full measure of this new Argentine dignity until they can share the full measure of Argentine prosperity. In the past few years so many have seen their wages cut and their jobs disappear. The value of wages continue to fall and what is not eaten up buying food is quickly lost to inflation. We can not truly have justice for the people of Argentina until the damage done by the Junta is undone. The economic damage may be as hard to undo as the spiritual and emotional damage of the last decade.
I am perhaps better qualified to speak to the spiritual damage that our people have suffered, but I feel that the two are not unrelated. Now that we are made free to choose our own path, we must choice the path of God to follow. The path of unity and brotherhood for all. The path of supporting the poor and bringing prosperity to the many. We have been given a chance once again to shape our communal life, we must shape it into a reflection of our best selves and not our worse fears.
I do not wish to sound unsatisfied, I am elated. On this day of triumph I have had a short hymn in my head for hours. I repeat it to myself over and over again.
|Non nobis, non nobis, Domine
Sed nomini tuo da gloriam.
|Not to us, not to us, O Lord,
But to thy name give glory.