Dec 7, 2011

The Reflection of Heroic Value

The Reflection of Heroic Value
"Give me one thousand, ten thousand, one hundred thousand, one million old men, and I can move Mt. Semeru from here to there. But give me one thousand, no..., one hundred,... ten uncourageous young men. With those ten I can shake the world.”

What was stated by Soekarno, the greatest patriotic of our country (Indonesia) ever, only a phrase; a philosophy. But his statement encouraged young people in their struggle for freedom, for Indonesian had been colonialised. Because of Soekarno's remark, many young people emerged with a spirit of nationalisme and heroism. They struggled hard to fight the enemy, making the supreme sacrifice for their country. 

Years before, young people from different ethnic background decided to unite into one country. On October 28, 1928, these brave youth dared to assemble taking an oath, known as “the oath of youth” (Sumpah Pemuda) which is still commemorated every ar. This statement reconfirms the sense of possession by the people, mainly of the youth. They had to up-hold the Indonesian language as the national language of unity. In the years following, the struggle against the Dutch was no longer just regional. The whole land began to wake up and, stand up to colonial intimidation. Battles were fought throughout the archipelago. This was the beginning of the united country-to-be. It was also the beginning of the ruin of Dutch.

Finally on August 17,1945, the people's dream came true. Less than a week after Japan surrendered to the U.S. Soekarno and Hatta, on behalf of the Indonesian people, proclaimed Indonesia's Independence Day. Certainly, to suffering people freedom is priceless. Many of those who died were unknown. Many others were victims of the colonial's persecution in forced labor camps like Rodi, Culturstelsel, Romusha and others.

The reflection of the struggle
As the young generation born in an independent country we are lucky to be free of colonialism. We hope it will never happen again in Indonesia. We learn about ancestors’ miserable existence and their struggle only from our grandparents' stories or from history books.
Is there any possibility for us to become heroes like those who struggle for freedom? What exactly is a hero?

According to Romain Rolland, a French author (1866 -1944), a hero is a man who does what he can. This means a hero can turn up anywhere, at anytime, either in war or peace.
A hero does not have to be buried in the heroes cemetery. Teachers are called “heroes without reward” in Indonesia, but they are not buried in the heroes cemetery when they die. They never asked for special treatment when they died. Then how can we become heroes?

We become heroes when we work for our country, by fighting against ignorance and poverty and fighting for truth and justice.
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