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They are Alive

Eritreans in Washington, D.C. commemorating Martyrs Day

They are Alive

On a beautiful weathered-day capped by a sunset that welcomed the night

On warm bright night

As if dancing in-joy, for the glory of the night

The candles danced as they gave light  

Soft cottony white clouds floating beneath blue fading sky  

Embracing bright shining stars that mimicked the candles lights

Embracing a nation, her people

Sitting huddled, in focus

Facing big-brown stage, sitting with families, friends

Decor to honor, in honor for the memories 

Candles abound-cuddling pictures

Hugging pictures of the fallen, heroes

Honoring the dignified, with dignity, solemnly  

In the city, historic city

Adding glory to a glorious city

Embracing-owning the landmarks 

Glorifying Washington’s monuments

Huddled, as they experienced solemn moments

Remembering and honoring the glorious

Reading poems

Singing Songs

Re-living lives lived

Echoing values they espoused

Carrying symbols, portraits and pictures

In unison,

Adorned with flags, uniform and shirts

Walked the path, miles of meandering lines

 In the dark, holding candles

In remembrance, with a slogan that echoed

They Are ALIVE

Amanuel Biedemariam

On Friday June 20, Eritreans residents of the Metro DC area gathered to observe Eritrean Martyr’s Day at Sylvan Auditorium in Washington DC. The auditorium is located under the historic landmark Washington Monument. The seating is a huge expanse of the Washington Monument grounds nestled in the midst of Washington’s historic landmarks that embrace World War II and Jefferson Memorial grounds that make for a beautiful backdrop for the solemn occasion.

It was mesmerizing to watch the size and the manner in which the attendees conducted the commemoration. It was serene, historic and educational as the poets streamed to explain Eritrea’s history and the significance of June 20 to Eritrea. Noting that Eritrea celebrated Independence Day just weeks before Martyr’s Day, they asked the question what comes first, what should come first.  

The organization, the continuous talent that flooded to express gratitude for the Martyrs and the language used was expression to the living legacy of Eritrea’s heroes. It was evidence that Eritrea will keep the legacy alive by nurturing, in deed, by supporting their families and hoisting the flag that flies in their honor. It was a show of unwavering commitment to see children honoring the fallen.

The long meandering lines of Eritreans that stretched for miles as they held candles walking in the midst of  the beautiful Washington night was a moment that is seared in memories of  all the participants. It was glorious and fitting tribute.

As we walked in line, a young lady dressed the Eritrean flag had the picture of the famous Eritrean Martyr with a gun-smiling with letters in Tigrigna that read ‘Huluw Ikha,” meaning You Are Alive. That captured the imagination and tried to capture it in this poem. Hopefully I it.  

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They are Alive Reviewed by Admin on 4:53 AM Rating: 5


  1. Hulluw ika indeed, we'll keep Our promise the Legacy to Our fallen Heros Martyrs.

  2. Our heros would be disappointed the cause they give their precious life has come to be a nightmare for our people.

    International and regional isolation
    Started a war with all our neighbors.
    Slavery called national service
    No higher institution in the country .
    No consitution
    The list goes on and on....indeed our heros are twisting and rolling in their graves. Having said that the end of the regime is around the corner hence our heros will be a live.

    Long live Eritrea
    Rest in peace our heros

  3. Yes indeed! They are aiive. They will always be alive. Their spirit will always be with us.

  4. Eritrea hagerey oh yea we are the best in the world....yea hagerey we have the best leaders yea yea.....oh yea hade hizibi hade libi way too much ajewujew regime supporters.

    hgdef supporters wake up people.

    In Eritrea "Moammar Gadhafi" is STILL ALIVE

    – Eritrea, the United Nations says, is the planet's least-connected
    country. Less than 1% of its people have landlines; just 5.6% have cell
    phones. As for the Internet, less than 1% use it, and connections are
    almost all dial-up. "Even after waiting half an hour, you might not get
    to the page you want," an Eritrean-American journalist tells
    Businessweek. Few Eritreans knew of the Arab Spring, and the government
    "still hasn’t reported" on the death of Moammar Gadhafi, says an
    activist. In the country of six million, there are 146 fixed broadband

    The country is in the grips of a dictatorship that's
    been in place for 21 years; journalists see the country as Africa's
    North Korea, Caroline Winter writes. Press freedom in the country is the
    worst in the world, according to Reporters Without Borders. The
    government runs the country's only telecom, and prices for connectivity
    are vast relative to average income. And limited communications are just
    a part of the problem. This week, the UN slammed "widespread and
    systematic" human rights violations in the country, announcing an
    investigation into torture and other brutality, the BBC reports.

  5. Saro:
    Aye jahara.... I am willing to beat on it you are a true agame and you have no place in FREE Eritrea. Our country is in the bottom of the list why wont' you care. All that money from the mining in Eritrea is going to support agames like you and TPDM.

  6. I love your name. NayBehaki Wurdet! Lemano = Wurdet!

  7. You allowed me to stand on my two feet as a free Eritrean. I'll keep your legacy until I die.
    Eternal Glory To Our Martyrs!!!!!!!


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