Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #435) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #435)
Transcript: abreast of the platform the soldiers came to a standstill like one man, the lieutenant broke off and came straight to the statesman and saluted.
A month later I witnessed another military parade in honour of a political figure who had just returned from an island prison. But this particular parade differed from the first one in that it was not just a procession of troops for inspection, but even more important, it was at the same time a review of the country's armed revolution over a period of 8 years.
At the head of this parade were veterans in turbans and long tunics and sandals. They carried the type of weapons they used on the first day of the revolution including flintlock guns, shotguns, battle axes and even assegais. Some were elderly men, others were limpimg and there was hardly any precision as they moved forward. But from their confident bearing and the tumultuous applause they received as they passed the pavillion of distinguished guests there was no doubt that these were national heroes who had made a marked impression in the struggle of their people against imperialist exploitation.
They were followed by comparatively younger soldiers, all carrying modern arms and equally proud. But even with this section of the parade there was nothing of the smartness and precision of the first military display I had seen. This was part of an army that had been born in the fire of actual battle, that concentrated in the beginning to end on good marksmanship, physical fitness and that had little time for drill and that had fought almost daily. As the long column of soldiers filed past
Extent and Medium: 1 page