Kaieteur News – All Guyana mourns for her five fallen warriors scythed by the rocking thunder of a distant jungle, on this sacred soil of our peoples, that they now seed with their lives, their blood, and the essences of their soul. The roll call honors these first heroes: Brigadier (ret’d) Gary Beaton, Colonel Michael Shahoud, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Charles, Lieutenant Colonel Sean Welcome, and Staff Sergeant Jason Khan, the sacred petals of Guyana’s sonship and manhood. They are the first sacrifices.
Let us have the strength and the courage and the wisdom to pause and pay tribute to these five sons of Guyana, our newest legends. With malice towards none, and charity towards all. Yes, may the battlefields that torment our minds be stilled if only, for one hallowed moment. May the torn spirits of our existence, now inscribed in blood and loss, be refreshed by the supreme sacrifices of brothers Gary, Michael and Michael, Sean, and Jason.
I petition for the longest moment of individual silence in solemn recognition of our war dead, the first five in what could be a pantheon of the heroic dedicated to the ultimate that is called for in this hour of hurting, this time of test. Out of their sacrifice of what could be for a better Guyana, a Guyana for the ages that is one of tomorrow, “a terrible beauty is born.” William Butler Yeats’ timeless poignant outpouring spills and shrouds. It must also stir.
As Guyanese we are in a different time, one like never before. This discernment must come now; if not, it may never come at all. One Nation, One People, One Destiny. Gary Beaton, Michael Shahoud, Michael Charles, Sean Welcome, Jason Khan laid all on the line, so that we can go on with hope in our heart, and courage in our step. They stood for us in the crashing turbulences of a place so vast and deep and now sadly deadly. Though now fallen, they stood tall in national duty. These five, these falling from the stormiest of skies, these five now rising up to meet the gleaming canopy of a sky where they each will live forever among the stars watching over Guyana, the legends of Guyana. Oh, beautiful Guyana, Oh my lovely native land….
Like the mothers of the Spartans of old, we must be strong and stoic in this pain of grief. They left with their shields, and they return most honorably, most gloriously on their shields. I pray that the distinction with which they served and gave so dutifully of themselves will be mine too, will be what is cherished by all Guyanese. This is the jarring, bludgeoning reality of ‘not a blade of grass.’ They carried the Guyana standard, and held it aloft. No general could be prouder. No corporal or private less inspired in this hour of national travail, of the national call, of the national commitments that each and every Guyanese will now have to make.
In front of us, stands a formidable foe. We did not make our enemies; they made us into what suits the impulses of ambition that must be defeated. It is too easy to quote or paraphrase Winston Churchill, and we have gotten too fluent in such props. It will be the measure of our manhood and nationhood what we stand for now that the bugles are summoning, amidst the muffled roll of drumbeats timed to express the pain within, the whisper of slowly marching feet that displays our pride in our heroes, our brothers, our now renowned martyrs.
Let us not be so boorish of attitude, so callous in convictions, that even the fateful destiny of these five does not pierce us deeply in a different way, a way like never before. Discard the ugliness and the meanness. And if that is proving to be too difficult for some, then at least let each of us make the most strenuous effort to distance ourselves from what destroys from the inside. May this be the first dawn of the realization of the magnitude of our circumstances, the grim sacrifices demanded, and of which we must be ready to give to our last drop, our dying breath. Five men, total strangers to me, but now known to me, and by me, as the first casualties of this conflict that has endured for centuries, but which has now drawn first blood. I pray that their families will be filled with fortitude, and that we will be inspired by them.
If, if, if we refuse to get into our heads that the only ones we have are ourselves, then the worst of dishonor, the gravest of injustice, would have been visited upon the fall of these five, these glorious Guyanese five. We either come to our senses with strength and swiftness, or we lose them to the hobnailed boot of invaders poised to desecrate this beautiful Guyana that is ours. Ours!. Ours!.
I salute Gary Beaton, Micheal Shahoud, Micheal Charles, Sean Welcome, and Jason Khan. Guyanese to the core. Guyanese first. Guyanese to the last. A terrible beauty is born…. May the trumpets of our demanding time tighten our resolve to be ready to fight in whatever way we can. May the spirit of these men live forever, and lift all of us to deeds of noble patriots, and the grandness that they manifested.
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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