We Will Remember

We Will Remember

Anonymous gravemarker at a former Minnesota State Hospital. Photo by Advocating Change Together

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.


Words and music by Bret Hesla.
© 1999 Bret Hesla. All rights reserved. Use with permission, please.
Licensed via OneLicense.net. Contact: Bret.hesla@gmail.com.


Song Uses: The song also works well for All Saints Day, and other gatherings of remembrance.

Song background: Throughout the 20th century, thousands of Minnesotans with developmental disabilities were placed 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. These were moving and uplifting events, led by people with disabilities.

Songleading: 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. Any simple accompaniment will work great.

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