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Dedicated with bitterness to those who don’t shuffle their feet in protest

The more time passes, the less we care about the terrible implications

The vigil on January 16. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

The vigil on January 16. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

Some things in life live forever in your heart. Perhaps a glance, a touch or a few words. Even a smile can be etched never to disappear.

These are memories our mind treasures in a way reserved - by the materialistic - for the most precious gems.

On January 16, I made my way to Valletta to do my bit after what happened three, long, awful months ago.

I was there to commemorate the death of a woman in a car. A death that represented a direct affront to our freedom of speech; a death maybe foretold, a savage barbaric death that should never have been.

It was heart-breaking for all of us there; heart-breaking to accept that very few of us manage to find the time, the energy, the need to be there. To shout out—we are here because, you, a journalist, a woman of courage, a freedom-fighter, are not.

On that day in October, freedom was dealt a terrible blow but few of us care. The more time passes the less we care, the more it becomes business as usual in Malta.

In the crowd (can one call a few hundreds a crowd?) a woman stood out, surrounded by members of her family. She was upright, distinguished, her head held high. It was Daphne Caruana Galizia's mother standing there with us to protest the assassination of an innocent woman, her daughter, her flesh and blood.

For her to be there with her husband is an act of honour I find absolutely amazing. The feelings of the mother and father, sons, husband, sisters can never be fully comprehended. They are as dignified as Daphne would have wanted us all to be.

What the rest of us feel, besides the loss of a friend and an unmatched and unmatchable journalist, is fear and contrition. Fear that freedom, that freedom we all love, is threatened; contrition that we never fought as we should have for that freedom and its main defender.

The mother mourns a daughter, a daughter who was talented beyond what we usually encounter in life, a daughter who is hardly appreciated on this barren, god-forsaken land whereas she is admired and praised the world over.

This is how heroes are born: from mothers who stand tall even in the face of such horrors and terror.

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