Unity Park Addis Ababa: The story of all of us in the city upon the hill

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Those who can, will help us. Those who cannot, should leave us alone. Those who do not understand what we do will criticize us. Those who do not like what we do will oppose us. — H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed

The Story of All of Us: Ode to Unity Park in Addis Ababa

On a partly cloudy January morning

I took a walk in the (Unity) park

There I found His (Her) story with a puzzled look

Asking me curiously,

“Do you know?”

On these grounds of power and glory

In this place of honor and shame

Where hope and despair tangled to the bitter end

Is written the Story of All of Us.

“Do you know?”

In this place of sadness and joy

On these grounds where victory was conceived and defeat born

Where horror, terror and torture were hidden in a dungeon

Is written the Story of All of Us.

“Do you know?”

On these grounds of promises made and promises broken

In this place of truth and deceit

Inscribed on the ancient granite walls

Is the Story of All of Us.

“Do you know?”

On these grounds of virtue and vice

In this place of darkness and light

Where quest turned into conquest

Is written the Story of All of Us.

“Do you know?”

On these grounds where trees stand tall

In this place where they stood silent sentry for a century

New flowers today sing in dazzling colors

And write the Story of All of Us.

Do you know?

On these grounds where our leaders prayed and sinned

In this place where they plotted and schemed

Did they forge one nation indivisible

Is written the Story of All of Us.

“Do you know?”

On these grounds where we founded our nation’s capital

In this place where our ancestors came together in wisdom and folly

To do dastardly deeds and recite sublime poetry

Is written the Story of All of Us in blood, sweat, tears and laughter.

Answered I to His (Her) story:

Now is the time to turn a page

To inscribe a new chapter filled with hope and optimism

To affirm in this hallowed park the sanctity of our unity

To boldly declare our humanity in our diversity.

Answered I to His (Her) story:

Now is the time to write the new Story of All of Us

To sing out loud our songs of peace, prosperity and unity

Rebuild our City Upon a Hill amidst a bed of new flowers

Then let our “sons and your daughters prophesy, our young men see visions, and our old men dream dreams”

Answered I to His (Her) story:

Somewhere ages and ages from now

A generation will walk in Unity Park and sigh in relief and pride:

“Thank God, our ancestors seized the moment

On two roads that diverged in the night

They took the road marked ‘Peace and Prosperity’

Made a right turn on a road named “Reconciliation and Forgiveness”

And that has made all the difference in the Story of All of Us!”

Ode to Unity Park in Addis Ababa was written by Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam following his visit on January 28, 2020 and posted on March 3, 2020 on his blog: Al Mariam’s Commentaries: http://almariam.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/cropped-Web-logo-31.png

 The Ethiopian Herald March 5/2020

 BY PROFESSOR ALEMAYEHU

G. MARIAM