We Will Remember

We Will Remember
Bret Hesla ©1999

We will remember. We will remember.
Your story is in our hearts.   We will remember.
We will remember.  We will remember.
Dear sister, we will remember you.

We’ll call your name out … [Hmmmmm]
We’ll call your name out … [Hmmmmm]
We’ll call your name out … [Hmmmmm]
Dear sister, we will remember you.

————

Throughout the 20th century, Minnesotans with developmental disabilities were places in large, state-run institutions. Conditions were often inhumane. Those who died while living there, more than 13,000, were buried in unmarked or numbered graves–no name. Since the mid-90s, leaders with disabilities at St. Paul-based Advocating Change Together, along with allies, have been replacing numbered grave markers with the actual names and birth/death dates of the people buried. Remembering them with dignity. This song was written to sing at ceremonies honoring the deceased, at which their proper headstones are unveiled.

As for singing, it’s mostly mi-re-do. Pretty easy to sing, after you’ve heard it one time. The second verse, “we’ll call your name out” has humming, during which people can call aloud the names of those being remembered, names omitted from their original grave markers, but now restored.

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