The scene is surreal. The crowd passes buy slowly, respectfully. Touching the casket before them, last words murmured silently. Cristina is across from them, nodding her head to the crowd filing through, touching her heart. Brown hair hangs to hear shoulders, sunglasses to hide the anguish, flanked by family, Bolivian President Evo Morales, and many others. The madres and abuelas embrace her, bandanas tied around their heads in remembrance of those that have passed.
“Presente”, cries the crowd packed into the Latin American Patriot’s Gallery of Argentina’s Presidential Palace, Casa Rosa. Another patriot has fallen.
“The death of Nestor Kirchner is irreparable,” writes Argentina torture-survivor Patrica Isasa from Washington DC. “Amidst sobs, anguish, full of memories… and with the certainty that the future is ours! We should pay honor to his memory and continue down the road that he indicated, but which is difficult. We have lost a unique leader… the great statesman, the great constructor of popular power, the great visionary, and above all a great companion!!! He who returned dignity to the people, who annulled the laws of impunity, who honored memory and justice.”
Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa arrives to applause, as does Uruguay President Pepe Mujica. The crowd and the ceremony continue in silence. Wordless, speechless silence. Motionless in this quickly shifting universe. Motionless and silent, broken only by emotional cries from the crowd. “Por Argentina!” Shouts, cries, respect, and tears. Hope and dreams of a tomorrow. Dreams uplifted by the man lying before them. Dreams and memories that will never be forgotten, and homage to a fallen patriot – Nestor Kirchner (25 February 1950 – 27 October 2010). To watch the ceremony on Argentina's Public TV Channel 7.