Unsung Heroes

September the 11th will always be remembered for the events in New York City in the year 2001, but our remembrances on this date shouldn't be dedicated solely the crimes of 2001.

On September 11, 1973 a Chilean man by the name of Victor Jara was executed for writing and singing songs. After Pinochet and the other Generals came to power they started killing those people who they felt threatened by. Victor Jara was on the top of their list not only because of support of Allende and the Popular Unity party, but because his songs were political, and he had influence with the people.

They put him in prison where he began to sing to keep up the spirits of himself and his fellow inmates. The guards broke his hands with their rifle butts, but he continued to sing and write poems. On 9.11.73 Victor Jara was takenóalong with five thousand other men to the soccer stadium where he was tortured and eventually was murdered. There are reports that say he sang until the very end, and I can believe it.

The following poem was the last that he wrote, on the morning of his execution, in blood more or less, it was smuggled out of the stadium and the translation you see here comes to us through Pete Seeger.

Estadio Chile -Victor Jara

We are 5,000 ó here in this little part of the city We are 5,000 ó how many more will there be? In the whole city, and in the country 10,000 hands Which could seed the fields, make run the factories. How much humanity ó now with hunger, pain, panic and terror?

There are six of us ó lost in space among the stars, One dead, one beaten like I never believed a human could be so beaten. The other four wanting to leave all the terror, One leaping into space, other beating their heads against the wall All with gazes fixed on death.

The military carry out their plans with precision; Blood is medals for them, Slaughter is the badge of heroism. Oh my God, is this the world you created? Was it for this, the seven days, of amazement and toil?

The blood of companero Presidente is stronger than bombs Is stronger than machine guns. O you song, you come out so badly when I must sing o the terror! What I see I never saw. What I have felt, and what I feel must come out! "Hara brotar el momento! Hara brotar el momento!"

There are some things that we can never be allowed to forget, words that need to be said, and there are the songs of unsung hero's must be sung.

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