Land of Song and Sorrow

 

The Memorial Wall for those who died or disappeared

As our journey continues, we have experienced the warmth of the people of El Salvador in their hospitality and music, relaxing in a sense of growing solidarity.  However the overriding feeling of these past few days has been one of great sorrow for the pain endured by so many people of this land in their recent past. On Friday we were taken to visit the “Wall” in down town San Salvador, where listed in stone are the thousands of names of people who were murdered or disappeared during the war years. Row upon row of names, such as: Angelina, Mariella, Juan and Jean, all people who were loved and who were lost in the struggle for justice and freedom from oppression. On Saturday night we attended a Memorial Mass for the 6 Jesuit priests and 2 lay women who were gunned down in their house. Their lives like Romero´s were an example of solidarity with the poor and they paid with their lives in the struggle for justice.

Memorial Mass for the 6 Jesuits and two lay women

Today we visited a small village in the east of the country, El Mozote, where over 900 people, many of them small children, were murdered systematically over three days by the government forces.  It was so hard to hold all our emotions in check during what was a “holocaust” experience. Again long lists of names of the victims together with their age brought home to us the pain and sorrow the people of this beautiful country have lived through. And though the war is ended the struggle for dignity and a better life continues as many still live in poverty.

Memorial Wall in El Mozote showing names of children

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