Today, I went to the Arlington Cemetery and visited with John F Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States and paid my respects. While there, I reflected on two issues: honour and legacy. The two are related, in this context. I am still learning about JFK and why he remains the most popular past president of the US. I know, you are thinking about his most popular quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you, as what you can do for your country.”
It’s apt but I am thinking about this one: “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
How do we honour, the men and women who risk their lives every day to protect us? Policemen and women, the men and women in the Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia and the men and women at NSIS who we will never know as they avert terrorists on our streets (we only know about the ones that get past them)? When they die in the line of duty how do we celebrate their sacrifice? How do we remember these who defend our liberty and who protect our rights?
But I wondered about Uhuru Park, Kamukunji grounds, Tononoka Grounds and Uhuru Gardens in Langata, where the first Kenyan flag was first raised and thus marking the very first year of independence on the 12th December 1963. How do we commemorate these grounds? What is the legacy of all the sacrifice and blood and tears and work that these places represent?
Legacy is important to think about.