Why I Walk – Denis Bisangwa

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So many people have done exactly what we are doing with Walk to Remember, if not even better. What differentiates us from other organizers and walks is that we experienced what happened.  We know the pain of losing our loved ones.  That’s our motivation.

I ask myself, what would my lost loved one want me to do if he was here?  Would he ask for revenge? Certainly not, they would ask for me to forgive and say “Never again.” I am here to embody my loved ones’ wishes of unity, reconciliation, and love amid us Rwandans.  I walk for our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and friends.  The vision of the Rwanda I wish for my children and grandchildren is what motivates me to walk.  My responsibility as a human being, particularly as a Rwandan, is to make sure that this tragedy never happens again and by organizing this walk, I am doing my part.

Genocide was planned and carried out by people, so, it has to be eradicated by people, and that’s me. The atrocities that happened in Rwanda should motivate every human being to act to make sure never again, really means never again.

Also, I walk as a witness to the dark truth of Rwanda’s genocide, as a witness against those who, out of self-interest or guilt, try to rewrite our history.  I am not naïve enough to forget where I’ve come from, to not know where I’m going, or to detach myself from my dark history.  I want change and that change needs to begin with me.  And so, it’s my responsibility to pass on my desire for change to others, and I do that through Walk to Remember.

Denis Bisangwa, Walk to Remember Organizer, Union University (USA)

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