We just lost two climate champions for the Marshall Islands within days of each other – former Minister Mattlan Zackhras and former Climate Ambassador Tony DeBrum. Both were major players on the international scene, in raising awareness on climate change and also on nuclear testing. But they were also just good, humble men who were grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers, sons. They were more than their accomplishments. It’s been a huge blow to lose both of them one after another. As we prepared to lay one to rest, the other passed this morning. I’ve been thinking about the enormous loss their families must be feeling. As usual I turned to writing to process. Rest in peace Matt and Tony. They both gave me so much direction and faith. I wish I gave them more.
What I will tell my daughter
They say there are no mountains
in the Marshalls – our island
that is so close
to an expiration date
But I will tell you there were mountains
who were men
giants who walked across the sea
sounding the call for the world
to hear our story.
To learn more about Mattlan: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/336798/tributes-for-marshall-islands-leader-who-got-things-done
To learn more about Tony: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/22/world/tony-de-brum-dead-climate-change-advocate.html?mcubz=0