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Thinking about Romero

Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2011

 By Michael Wolf, current Casa student

The center of San Salvador isn’t exactly the safest place to go walking after dark. Unless, of course, you’re surrounded by two thousand friends and walking in the spirit of El Salvador’s most celebrated martyr.
 
            It’s always a profound experience being part of a mobile mass of people. There’s a kinetic, tangible energy that is often greatly lacking in today individualistic society. It was an especially moving experience once the sun went down. My own body disappeared into the dark of the night and the only evidence of my being was the lit candle I held. The entire highway was a sea of similar lights, bobbing up and down with each collective step like a fleet of ships on the horizon of the ocean. We were all marching towards our own horizon; marked by the largest, most bright orange moon I’ve ever seen.
 
            The moon was like a beacon, like that impossible ideal we must always visualize but seems just out of reach. As it rose, the circle of the moon was the O of Oscar Romero. Here was the evidence. He has risen in his people. He has risen in the Salvadorans marching next to me, for whom his life was dedicated. He has also risen in myself and my fellow students, who have studied his life and have been moved by his example of theology in action.
 
            It was fitting to think of the moon as protection over our peaceful march. Some of Romero’s most dangerous work was publicly broadcasting the names of the disappeared and keeping alive the memory of the martyrs. He died for shouting the truth, but he has not died in vain. Here we were, keeping alive his memory in a nonviolent way, which would have been met with bullets just a handful of years ago.
 
            We need to light these same flames, these same humble candles, in cities and towns all across the world and continue Romero’s struggle everyday.