I grew up knowing more about Teruel and The Spanish Civil War than most of the adults living through those times. It seemed a beacon for right thinking people. The young and rebellious, the idealists of all stripes and creeds, my father included, flocked to it as volunteers and fundraisers. The enemy was clear, the expected outcome dire. Romantic to be sure but as the world turned colder and wars became an unholy brutality it seemed that the bravery and idealism of the Republican forces continued, even now, to hold their place of noble note. And sometimes, in the literature of the times, in Hemingway, and Malraux, in St. Exupery and Romain Gary, the best of what my father’s generation grew to understand and eventually to carry forward was revealed, revered and made mine. That it has been tarnished and misused, ignored when most needed is my doing and none of their own. No passerans he told me once, they shall not pass is what it means. It means that you can overcome your own worst fears he said and make better decisions for yourself. It has taken the better part of my life but here I am and I say, no passerans, motherfucker, I’m here and it is my time.
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