THE BATTLE OF VERTIERES GOES ON

Louis Mercier
November 18, 1936

Translated by

   Marlene Apollon

November 2002.

Apollon says: Extract of a speech given by my maternal grandfather, Louis Mercier

The battle of VertiŤres goes on for us. We are still in the grasp of the forces of evil and destruction. All the stupid and deadly prejudices are still alive in our hearts and we still have a colonial mentality. We still havenít erased all traces of slavery. The vast majority (of our people) still live in ignorance, abject poverty, humiliation and this doesnít revolt us. The rules of hygiene are not observed. Our cities still donít look like modern cities and our countryside is too neglected. We are not yet great builders and we walk on too much devastation. Even today, we still donít want to be idealistic, to become real Haitian citizens, to purge ourselves of fanaticism, hatred, to adopt and implement the noble laws of social justice and human solidarity, rid ourselves completely of all the viruses that poison our hearts and our brains: Cast prejudices, place of origin prejudices, relicts of a cursed past that we have to shed completely. Our ancestors have made immense efforts for liberty and fraternity. Donít let their sacrifices be in vain. Donít let those foreigners that our history fascinates and who admire us be disappointed by the sad spectacle that we offer.

Life is beautiful only under the invigorating shadow of a great dream and in the framework of an admirable country where all the noble activities can be fostered, and where intellect, willpower and reason are applied to maintain Justice, Goodness, Fraternity, godmothers of all progress.

Letís open our hearts to love. Letís develop every social program that will improve the lot of the wretched. Letís take the firm resolution to work to the point of sacrifice for the good of our country. That the only way we will grow. The fight goes on and we must remain in control of the field. Let us repeat, let us repeat unceasingly that truth that will liberate us: ďLA BATAILLE DE VERTI»RES CONTINUE. THE BATTLE OF VERTI»RES GOES ON.Ē


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Bob Corbett corbetre@webster.edu