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Valentine's with a Long Distance Connection and a Local Affect
By: Jerry Castro
Lachamuru: Jerry Castro
"Garifuna Kids are you ready / (rhythm starts playing)
"Ah-ah / because you know we are the best / ah-ah / in niney-ninety - ninety four"
-Lyrics obtained from Garifuna Kids 1994 release
One of the most compelling stories about Garinagu (plural for Garifuna) is that throughout its history, they have been involved in wars reflecting the assurance of Freedom. From World War I to Vietnam to the Persian Gulf, Kosovo and now Iraq. It is ironic how a group of people who fought for their lives against the British royals in the 1700’s is now today the backbone to secure the freedom and safety of thousands and thousands of lives around the world. Which leads to the conclusion about the history of the Garifuna people on the battlefield about their tenacious ability to lead on the ground and on sea…just like they did in the past in a war overshadowed by the victory of the American troops to claim independence from Great Britain.
This column, section or opinion is to simply recognize the Garifuna men and women who are at service in the Armed Forces. Collectively, we as members of the Garifuna community, have failed to praise the efforts our men and women are sacrificing on the battlefield. We have continued our own campaign of division to pinpoint that these who are serving are not fully Garifuna soldiers; instead they belong to the states that benefit from their sacrifices. But that ought to change as the number of Garifuna service men and women have increased over the years in the Armed Forces. With every piece of community, neighborhood, city and nation claiming their heroes, I too will claim mine and introduce them to the world as their sacrifice and efforts is making a safer America and a damn proud Garifuna.
Personally I have friends and relatives at the field. As a unit, we have our future sacrificing itself for a better tomorrow.
Not a while ago I received a message from a dear friend whom is serving and reassured me that he was fine and could not wait to go back to fight for Freedom. “I don’t regret my decision to join the Force”, he said, “If I was to do it again, I wouldn’t change my decision.”
My friend, whom I played soccer with in Livingston and attended Justo Rufino Barrios school for boys is now living in Germany recuperating from a recent accident. There are others too who have gotten into the habit to find out how our community is doing through numerous reports compiled on websites and other means, simply to keep in touch with their Garifunaness.
Now it is time for us to “holla” back. It is time for us to let our “isanigu”, “amulenu” and “umadagu” know that just like our parents looked over them as they played on the playgrounds and prayed as the nightfall for a better tomorrow, our prayers, hope and optimism will increase for a safe return.
After all, from a Garifuna to a Garifuna, it is our time to look over them and give them the needed energy and ask our ancestors to be with them, just like if they were on the playground.
Aba Isieni, Happy Valentine's Day
|Other Articles By Jerry Castro |
|09/06/05|| GARIFUNA IN NEW YORK RALLY FOR HURRICANE KATRINA VICTIMS IN THE SOUTH|
|04/27/05|| Garifuna Web sites increasing the importance of news|
|04/19/05|| Garifuna Heritage Events a success|
|04/19/05|| Remembering Jimmy Suaso: A Punta Rock Lord|
|04/18/05|| Friends, Fans and Family around the globe remembers Jimmy Suazo|
|03/29/05|| The Lords of Punta Rock: Jimmy Suazo|
|03/22/05|| Lidani Garifuna Times interviews Dr. Joseph Palacio|
|03/22/05|| The Beginning of Punta Rock|
|03/18/05|| How safe are we, the Garifuna, 50 years from now?|
|03/14/05|| In Celebration of Garifuna Heritage Month|
|05/13/04|| Garifuna Soccer in Center Stage at the Asian Champ League|
|04/18/04|| Punta Rock Loses One of its Artists: Jimmy Suazo|
|03/26/04|| April 12 is a Garifuna Holiday, and Garifumericans are getting ready (Part 1)|
|03/20/04|| Garifuna All Stars in the Bronx|
|03/19/04|| Family passing in Guatemala...|
|01/27/04|| How proud & Garifuna are you? Find out here...|
|12/10/03|| BRONX COURT ORDERS GARIFUNA TRANSLATION TO A GARIFUNA DEFENDANT|
|11/27/03|| Legendary composer, Polo Martinez, rests in peace|
|11/21/03|| Tomas Brooks Is Strong And Fearless|
|11/17/03|| LIVING IN THE STATES, MIND BACK IN LABUGA|
|11/07/03|| CELEO ALVAREZ TAKES THE BRONX BY STORM: Why you should attend this important event!|
|10/27/03|| ONECA Conference to go on: Celeo to meet Garinagu in November-Lamiselu II|
|10/25/03|| Garifuna Coalition USA divorces ONECA|
|10/13/03|| Garifuna community in New York and Borough President, Adolfo Carrion, Jr.|
|10/06/03|| GARIFUNA MUSICAL REVOLUTION: BROOKLYN, NY - 10 YEARS AGO|
|09/09/03|| Garifuna Collections of Jerry Castro: Essay 1 of 1|
|08/23/03|| Garifuna Resident in the Bronx and his dreams of...|
|07/22/03|| GARINAGU IN SEARCH OF A HEALTH CENTER IN LIVINGSTON|
|07/20/03|| VILO GETS HOME AS A SUSPECT IS BEING HELD....|