Echoes of their Lives

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

We remember and honor great people in history. We remember them for their words that inspired, motivated and even stirred a nation to action. We pay tribute to the legacy that history and memory has bestowed upon their life and time. Generations remember and celebrate their contribution to the American dream and America’s evolution.

ECHOES OF THEIR LIVES

By Al Garcia

We remember and honor great people in history.  We remember them for their words that inspired, motivated and even stirred a nation to action.  We pay tribute to the legacy that history and memory has bestorwed upon their lives and time.  Generations remember and celebrate their contribution to the American dream and America's evolution. 

This morning, I was thinking of other men and women who helped to influence, mold and even shape the character, composition, significance and prominence of all brown-skin Americans, especially those of us living along the Rio Grande.  Their voices were quiet, and their words may have been inarticulate and even awkward, and even in Spanish.  They may not have marched defiantly across the bridges or across the Rio Grande.  They may not have walked rebelliously down the dirt roads or through the open fields that constituted the only home they knew.  They are the unknown and unremembered faces and names that never made it into the history books.  Yet, they sacrificed and even forfeited their lives to help build a nation, and place for dreamers like me.  They were my ancestors -- hardworking, decent, dignified, and brown.  And like most of us along the Rio Grande that today enjoy the bounty, opportunity, and even riches of the Valley, I cannot remember their names. much less pictures their faces or itemize the grief, sorrow and woe that they endured for what we have today.  All I can hear are the echoes of their lives.  And it is loud and resounding.

My parents are what I remember of my past.  They told me stories that made me see, and sometimes even feel the times before, when the land was wild and open, and life along the Rio Grande was cheap, treacherous and perilous for brown-skin people trying simply to exist.  I heard about the suffering and the misery, and the grieving, that my ancestors once endured.  However, I also heard of the faith and hope and pleasure that they enjoyed, despite the hate, bigotry and racism that surrounded them each day.  And yet, they quietly persevered.  They believed in their dream of one day overcoming the indignity and shame, and of one day reaching the mountain top and looking down upon the land that they had loved and nurtured for so long.

No one wrote down their words or recorded their courage or strength.  Their names are now written on fading and decaying headstone in deserted graveyards along the Rio Grande.  No one took the time to hear their cries or listen to their prayers in the days before today.  And today, nobody remembers who they were or how they helped to change our world along the Rio Grande.

Sometimes, when the wind blows across the blooming fields of cotton, corn and sugarcane in the Valley by the Rio Grande, the echoes of their lives can be felt and sometimes heard.  They were the quiet brown-skinned American silent heroes who never made it into the history books.  Their legacy is not honored or celebrated, like heroes of other revolutions.  But for some of us who grew up along the Rio Grande, the memories of those long-ago unrecorded stories of these brave men and women of substance and of character, still linger within us because the echoes of their lives still resonate in hearts and souls.

We are the tribute and the celebration of their legacy that history never recorded or honored.  I remember and honor them.  I remember them for their audacity and for their courage.  But most of all, I celebrate them for their nobility and wisdom.  They were the unsung heroes who inspired and motivated our Valley, and our nation with nothing more than their dreams.

It makes me proud to be a part of such great people and such great Americans, who not only inspired and motivated, but who helped to stir the melting pot of our American heritage.


Submitted: May 23, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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