Rebecca Moore: Thank you very much, and I really appreciate the honor to speak on this very important occasion. I just have a few words to say, and– and when you go last, everyone else has pretty much said it all.
First, a word of appreciation, certainly to Evergreen Cemetery for accepting the unidentified and unclaimed victims of Jonestown 32 years ago when it was a very unpopular thing to do.
We certainly appreciate the work of the Jonestown Memorial Fund, James Jones Junior, John Cobb, and my husband, Fielding McGehee, of whom I’m very proud.
I also appreciate the singing of O’Malley Jones, and just really appreciate your being here.
Rebecca Moore: I also want to say that I do appreciate the faithfulness of Jynona Norwood, who steadfastly has conducted memorial services on this hillside every November 18, year in and year out.
Second, I want to speak a word of recollection. I think of the many people, living and dead, who would like to have joined us at this memorial. Dr. Chris Hatcher, Michael Bellefountaine, Ezra Schacht and my mother Barbara Moore are particularly in mind. I received an email from someone in Indiana who wrote that he was too sick and too poor to come out. Let’s take a moment of silence to remember those who cannot be with us on this historic occasion.
(Silence) (Mike malfunction) (Silence)
Rebecca Moore: Okay. I declare the moment of silence over.
Rebecca Moore: Third, a word of perspective. We do not come here to separate the just from unjust, the worthy from the unworthy. We leave judgment to the wisdom of God and the mercy of Allah. We leave judgment to the law of karma and the compassion of the Buddha. We leave judgment to the writers of history. That history is being inscribed this very day as we gather to remember and mourn. We probably don’t agree on much outside the gates of Evergreen Cemetery, but we are united in our common loss at this site and at this time.
Fourth, a word of liberation, which several have already spoken. Today we are able to set aside our anger and hate, our guilt and shame, our fear and anguish. Freed of these burdens, we are able to move forward to do the work that needs to be done.
Finally, a word of remembrance. The remains of my two sisters Carolyn and Annie are buried in another cemetery. The remains of my nephew Kimo are buried here. Today they are united in this memorial.
But we know that our loved ones are not there, on a monument, or not on this hillside. They’re– They’re here, in our hearts. They’re part of who we are, and who we always will be. But when we are gone, in ten, or twenty, or fifty years, this tribute will remain to remind the world of that fateful day and the people who lived and died in Jonestown.
Let this memorial to our losses remind us that we can be better people than we are, and that we must be.