The Cytheran Speech
Subato Cirin made this allegedly impromptu speech in 2470, the day after he was declared Governor of the newly liberated colony of Cythera. Known as the “Cytheran Speech”, it is historically accepted as the trigger for the war of independence. All Cirin children are taught to memorise this speech at an early age:
Today, Cythera stands free.
It has been a hard and costly fight, and many good men and women have given their lives to secure our freedom. We may be tempted at this point to rest, to lick our wounds, to say “This much we have achieved, and this much will suffice,” but we have been complacent for too long. Cythera is just one of many worlds to have suffered under the oppression of the Earth Alliance. All across the galaxy our brothers and sisters look to our victory here today and wonder, “Where will freedom fly tomorrow?”
When we first started to walk among the stars, we were just children. We had hopes, we had dreams, but Earth was still our Home. Now, however, we are no longer children. We have made the stars our homes, with have built communities and created new ways of life. We are many generations removed from that tired, old world, and if that ancient relic is the face of our past, then I say it is time to look to the future. It is time to throw aside the old ways and embrace the new. If you dare to hope for freedom, if you dare to dream of exploring new and wonderful ideas, then join us! It is time to change the galaxy!
The Armistice Address
This is the full text of a speech that was to have been delivered by Prime Minister Arpita Singhal on Armistice Day, 2689, at the unveiling of the new War Memorial on Gaidana. However, during the speech, a terrorist attack on the ceremony killed the Prime Minister who was never able to deliver the message she had intended. This supposedly final draft of the speech was leaked onto the Weave two days after the incident. Officials have stated that its veracity cannot be determined, but it has been unofficially endorsed by Augustus Schiff, the Prime Minister’s chief speechwriter and life-long friend:
Good morning and welcome. It is humbling to see so many servicemen and women, young and old, here today. I particularly want to thank our veterans in the front rows, and their families, we are honoured to have you join us this morning. I also welcome the brave crewmen and officers of the R.S. Sirius and R.S. Cordoba and thank their captains for granting them leave to join us for Armistice Day.
But, of course, we’re not here only to commemorate the end of the War of Independence, some two centuries ago, but to remember those who gave their lives in the Cirin-Darani war, sixty years ago. I consider it an honour and a privilege to have been asked to unveil the memorial today.
As many of you know, my late father fought in the war we are remembering today. He was First Lieutenant aboard the R.S. Artarmon, a destroyer that can now be seen at the Beral Space Museum. My strongest memories of my childhood are of waiting for my father to come home, and of the stories he told of his time in space. But as I reflect on that time I’ve become increasingly conscious of the stories my father didn’t tell me, of the secrets he kept close to heart. Those moments of silent reflection, when he would stare past his dinner plate, or drift away during conversation. Even though everyone who knew my father would call him a warm and jovial man, there was a sadness in his eyes, hidden so deep that only his loved ones could see it.
The people sitting in front of me, the friends and loved ones of veterans, may understand what I’m talking about.
Since my father passed away, almost three years ago, I have been trying to find those untold stories, to go beyond the cheerful facade and meet the hidden man who couldn’t be a part of my life. I have discovered that he was involved in the now infamous Ogilvy’s Rift assault, which saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the war. He was awarded the Republic Medal of Valour for taking command of the Artarmon when its captain was killed in battle and not only holding the line against the Cirin counterattack, but also leading a spearhead that broke their resistance and won the day.
My father never mentioned that he was at Ogilvy’s Rift, nor that he had received the highest military honour the Republic of Daranir can bestow. He didn’t think of himself as a hero, at best he thought of himself as a survivor from a battle in which many others were less fortunate.
We are here today to remember those fallen heroes, the ones who gave their all for the Republic.
But the Republic does not have a monopoly on heroes, as much as we might like to think it does. Many Cirins died that day as well, young men and women who also fought for their homes and made the ultimate sacrifice. Records suggest that the Cirin Defense Force lost as many as ten service men and women for every one of our compatriots who fell that day. The Cirins call that battle the Ogilvey Massacre.
This sort of enmity has pervaded our nations for two centuries now, an ongoing cycle of provocation and retaliation, which has fostered a culture of hatred. This hatred is what sends young men and women to war, and what breaks them or brings them home lost and empty.
This hatred needs to end!
There has been much criticism of what has become known as the “Second Wall”, also to be unveiled today. The first wall contains the names of the three hundred and twenty Darani servicemen and women who died at Ogilvy’s Rift, the second contains the names of over three thousand Cirins who also died that day. It has been noted that the second wall is considerably larger than the first. Some argue that this unfairly makes the Cirin losses seem more significant than our own.
But we need to acknowledge the suffering on both sides of this bitter feud, because as long as we think that we are the only victims of history then we will see our moral outrage as justification for further bloodshed and sorrow. It is time for our two peoples to work towards not just a lasting peace, but a newfound friendship. Let us be like the Montagues and the Capulets who, after seeing how their bitter rivalry led to the death of their children, put their differences aside and united in their grief and in the hope of a better future.
Ladies, gentlemen, service men and women, please stand, turn your eyes to the stars and join me in a minute’s silence in memory of the fallen.