After 142 years of Puerto Rico’s Grito de Lares, a few hundred people on The Island got together to remember. Never mind that it was a small revolt against Spain to begin with. Never mind that the last five years have been brutal on the island. I have cousins who work 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet. Crime has reached into areas that we thought were safe. The census shows a decrease in population for the first time in decades — people with college degrees who had planned to stay (no one likes to leave their island and their extended families)  are now  migrating to Florida and Texas in record numbers. Who’s left to carry the torch?

Political disagreements aside, today the torch bearers said “here we are.” Their mere presence says “We still remember September 23, 1868. We remember the revolt, the confusion, and the courage of a few who faced the colonial government alone.”

The anniversary of El Grito de Lares gives us a chance to re-member, as in put a body back together. Each member is a piece of a big puzzle that will take generations to assemble. But we can start now by just remembering.

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