21 Apr Lest We Forget – Easter Attacks 1 Year Remembrance
The 21st of April 2019, was a bright and beautiful Sunday. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, it was a day that many of us were looking forward to. For some it was just another weekend, while for some of us, it was one of the most important days on our calendar. It was “Easter Sunday”. It was a Sunday meant for celebration and veneration. We longed to go church and celebrate the victorious day of our Risen Lord.
However, unlike on all other Easter Sundays before, our hearts were ripped within a matter of few seconds. Our hearts so fragile ripped so terribly and felt like an Easter egg that could crack so easily. Our devotion so loyal was overtaken by devastation. Our peace so beautiful was overtaken by panic.
Suddenly, the 21st of April 2019 was no longer a bright and beautiful Sunday.
It turned out to be one dreadful Sunday. It no longer brings back happy memories of church-bells, prayers and hymns. Instead, it brings back the dark memories of explosions, sirens, sounds of wailing souls and of our loved ones whose hearts had stopped beating before the Lord.
Cruel intentions of a group so heartless snatched a chunk of our island’s innocent love and joy from us.
Bomb after bomb exploded taking away swarms of lives so precious and dear. It was not just the St.Anthony’s Church, Zion Church, St. Sebastien’s Church, Cinnamon Grand, Shangri La, Kingsbury, Dehiwala and Dematagoda that were struck with terror. The coordinated attacks rocked our entire little island more than it could bear and neither did it just stop there. It shook the entire world too.
It’s been a year.
It’s been a year since many of our own abandoned us, forever.
It’s been a year since many families and dreams were shattered.
It’s been a year since millions of hearts were broken.
It’s been a year and some of our questions are yet unanswered.
Yes, 365 days have passed and turned in to a year. Yet there are certain remnants of this past that needs to be remembered.
Nonetheless these are bound to make us silently tear.
Thus, as we remember the ones we lost, as we heart-warmingly admire the ones who survived, we pay our heartfelt tribute the ones who stood by us and served us forgetting all differences in cast creed and belief. Their desire to serve us above all divides, deserves to be remembered.
Today a year later, for a different reason, the efforts taken by almost the same souls remain reminiscent of that dreadful day. Hence, we seem to be more grateful than we are grieved. This was the reason behind the silent explosions of gratitude in our hearts for these guardian angels.
Our Forces and Police, the selfless warriors deserve to be remembered for their uncompromising loyalty towards our little island. Often, our praise and thanksgivings last a week or two and we all resort to the usual thought of “expecting” these heroes to be there and save us anyway.
With great respect, love and honor we shall remember your valor that shielded us from terror.
Our Media Personnel and their bravery are often taken for granted. All worries, curiosity and fear of our minds are put before their own lives for the sake of great responsibility. Shielding the nation from the destruction caused by misinformation, they go to great lengths just to keep us safe. The risk they take, the stories they tell and their commitment often goes unnoticed.
With great respect, love and honor, we shall remember your dedication to keep us well informed and safe.
Our kind-hearted fellow citizens and all support extended out of empathy cannot be forgotten. With their love and care, our nation was peacefully healed. The scars and wounds may last forever. But the way they lost themselves in service of others who were devastated, needs to be praised for it is precious. Yes, there existed racism. Yes, we witnessed hateful action. But for every, discriminatory comment and hateful action did we not see many of our own stand up to put an end to them? We surely did even though at times, we might have been a stranger to some names.
Yet, we cared for each other and protected each other. That’s humanity and it bore testimony to the fact that it’s loving concern which is taught in all faiths at the end of the day. This is what we all should strive to achieve while we act out our parts in this life that’s all a play.
With great respect, love and honor, we shall remember how our fellow citizens reached out to make things bright in the dim times of need.
Our leaders and followers of all faiths had to work together to let love and unity prevail to defeat the evil. Not all may have done this yet once again most of them did although the actions of a few may have overshadowed the good, at times. Let us keep alive the memories of how they came forward to bless our nation with compassion. Let us recollect how the most affected forgave the enemy saying terror has no color.
With great respect, love and honor, we shall remember all of them who pulled it together by making humanity their religion in times of crisis. They indeed set an example to us all.
Our skilled medical staff and their untiring efforts to save lives is worthy of remembering. They rendered their fullest support in times of such tragedy. In their words of reassurance, their emotions were hidden. As fellow citizens, they might have been sad and with families of their own they must have been scared. Yet whenever they had to rush to save one two, three or more lives at a time, they never questioned why. When some lives were being taken away and some lives seemed like it’ll take an eternity to save, they never gave up.
With great respect, love and honor, we shall remember our talented medical staff whose service was reminder of the fact that not all heroes wear capes.
Our loved ones whom we lost and the struggles of the ones who survived will remain in our hearts forever. The gates of heaven were open for a second and some were called to eternal rest. Yet the sounds of this dark day echo in our heads making our hearts ache with pain. Their right to enjoy a nice Sunday their right to celebrate the joy of our Lords resurrection was taken away.
Gone but never forgotten, always loved, and forever missed, maybe they are watching over us in heaven beside Lord Almighty, wishing for better lives for all of us down here on earth.
We bloomed out of darkness and rose from the ashes of tragedy with true fraternity and care.
We may have been destroyed but we never defeated for our all our guardian angels down here on earth took care of us like family. We owe them.
We owe them a large debt of gratitude.
LEST WE FORGET.
Rtr. Shehani Leo
(President – 2019/20)
( Co-Editor – 2019/20 )