Hymn to the last generation

When the dawn comes and wakes us up we do not thank it for blessing us with its presence so we can begin our day as we have in the past. When the moon and the stars shine across our sky do we not thank it for giving us light during the night, for if it were not for the moon and the stars we would live in constant fear of the darkness? We have failed, at least this generation has failed to truly appreciate what the last generation has done for us. They have witnessed the wars of Korea and Vietnam, they have seen the massacres done in Chile, El Salvador, and Guatemala, the dictatorships of Trujillo, Pinochet, The dynasty of Somoza, and Stroessner, and many others. To put it simply they have gone through many difficulties.

Of course we all go through troubled times but just because we do does that not mean that we cannot appreciate those that have been through it? And they pushed and prospered even when going through hard times. Sometimes we forget that our parents and even that our grandparents each have their own past full of turmoil and hardships, we must learn about their past so when our own children have grown up they will know that our grandparents arrived at their marriages in horses rather than a car or a limo, which to me sounds more beautiful, or the mischievous acts that our parents had done when they were our age.

The look in their eyes when they invoke those memories is a rather happy sight because to them it shows that all of their sacrifices were not in vain. The only thing that our elders want and need to know is that all of their blood, sweat, and tears for us is appreciated. All of those things that they have gone through just so we can be able to be here is something that needs to be recognized and appreciated; and yet our generation fails to understand that our elders are not just people that like to nag us about our lifestyles, or that they love us going on errands for them. It is because when they were young they happily helped their parents, grandparents, aunt and uncles.

Even though the times have change, it does not mean that we do not help those that have sacrificed themselves for us. It is not just our parents and grandparents that need to be appreciated but it is also our aunts, uncles, godmothers, and godfathers. Why? It is not only because they are family but also because they are part of a web that we are also a part, to not think them important is to destroy the web because each thread is integral in keeping that web strong and firm.

So I thank the last generation for their sacrifices, those that have died in the name of a cause, those that been tortured because they represent a cause, those that sacrificed their lives in order to ensure the future generations do not go through what they have done, I thank the moon for inspiring this thought, and I thank the sun for waking me up so I can write this article, and I also wish to thank and congratulate CNY Latino for turning eleven years old this February and I thank them for their efforts and also for blessing me with this opportunity to work for them. May we not forget our last generation for everything that they have done for us.

About the Author

My name is David Alfredo Paulino. I am twenty-one years old and I am currently a senior attending SUNY Cortland. I am an international studies major with a concentration in Global Political Systems and my minors are Anthropology, Latin American Studies, and Asia and the Middle East. After I finish my bachelors degree in Spring of 2015, I wish to take a year break, while still being able to contribute to CNY Latino. After that year I wish to join the Peace Corps and hopefully work somewhere in Latin America. Once I finish my service in the Peace Corps, I am going to pursue a Masters degree, most likely in the University of Peace at Costa Rica, which is a United Nations Charter School.

I was born in Manhattan, NYC, but I currently live in the Bronx with my Mother, little sister, and Stepfather. Although I was born here most of my fondest memories come from my frequent visits to the Dominican Republic, and always being there. I even stayed there for a year due to my constant going back and forth, I grew to love the atmosphere there and sometimes I yearn for it more than the actual city.

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