By Brennen Ryan
October 14, 1934, the Communist Party and its Red Army could no longer hold the Jiangxi Soviet. They were surrounded by the reactionary forces of the Goumindang. The enemy was slowly wearing down our forces. We would not lose today or tomorrow, but we would lose – unless something was done. We faced slow annihilation. Now was the time for bold decisions. To act or to die? Mao and the Communists cast the die. It was now or never. We concentrated all our power to break the encirclement. The Long March began.
The Long March was a tactical retreat, but a strategic advance. The territory of the Jianxi Soviet was given up to the enemy, many sacrifices were made, many good men fell, so that we could regroup, reorganize, and establish a new base. From our new base, we were reborn, stronger. What does not kill us makes us stronger. We thrived in new soil. We grew. We conquered our enemies. We liberated the people. As Mao announced, “China stood up.”
Today is a dark time. Most of our leadership was smashed or imprisoned. Enemies encircle us. We are surrounded. It is a time of bold decisions. It is a time for action. We will not let them wear us down. We will not wither away.
Sometimes a doctor must chop off a limb to save the patient. Just as the Red Army sacrificed the Jiangxi Soviet, we too must leave much behind. There is always sadness when people you care about are lost or left behind. Again and again, we have tried to talk. No matter how loudly we speak, they have no ears.
Crisis is the best teacher. Like Mao, our Long March will be our teacher. We will “turn a bad thing into a good thing.”
Forward, always forward. We will regroup. Reorganize. Quietly gather our forces. We will endure. We will survive. We will thrive. We will be stronger. We will conquer. We will win.
We all make mistakes. We all fall. Pick yourself up when you have fallen. Love overflows our hearts. Take our hand. We are not alone. You are not alone. Walk with us on the great journey. This is not just my road, it is your road too. We have ears. We will listen.
It is always darkest before the dawn. “After sorrow comes joy.”
Do not look back. Look forward with big hearts. Our future shines. We serve the people. We are the people. We are the loyal. We are the brave. We are the warriors. We are the line the enemy will not cross. We are the Leading Light.