Will You Join In Our Crusade?

Imagine if you will...The year is 1832. You and your family (Consisting of your parents, a younger brother, and a younger sister) are living life under a bridge. You ask yourself several times what you may have done to deserve such a hell as a way of living. If it werent for a high-ranking official - General Lamarque - you're sure your entire family would be dead. He provides the food you eat, and the tattered rags on your back that you're forced to call clothes. But now everything's changed. Lamarque is on his deathbed, and you don't know where you'll be a week from that day.

There is a ray of hope for you and your family, though. Bands of students - Revolutionaries - have been secretly meeting in the backroom of cafes and bistros. Their plans? These men have plans to let you and the other hundreds of Parisian families in your situation live a better life. One group stands out though. The Friends of the ABC, who have been holding secret meetings in the backroom of Le Cafe Musain. The Friends of the ABC is the largest, most well-known group amongst all the Revolutionaries. With their young leader, Enjolras, they plan to make France a Republic... and it will all start at the funeral of General Lamarque. Standing alongside with Enjolras are several other men. Combeferre, Courfeyrac, Feuilly, Joly, Jean Prouvaire, Bahorel, Bossuet, Marius, Grantaire, and even Gavroche - whom your certain your younger sister knows from the streets. The first attack takes place at General Lamarque's funeral. You remember the gunshots vividly, and the cries for men to get to the Barricade.

Anything after that, you missed. You were told to go 'home' - it'd be safest there. You only managed to get hourly updates on the fighting by you younger brother who checks in to assure you, your sister and your mother that everything is going to be alright. From what you heard, a huge barricade was erected off the front of the a Cafe, and several men had already been shot and killed or had been taken prisoner. But other than the few losses, everything seemed to be going well.

The fighting continued through that night. The next afternoon, your father and brother didn't return home. They'd gone to barricades to help the revolutionaries... and hadn't returned. They'd apparently, gone to a far better place than the hell you were suffering in. Or so you'd told yourself.

Reflecting all that had happened in the past two days, you sit under your bridge-home, and think about the Uprising. You think about your brother and father, who were lost in a fight for freedom. You think of the countless other brothers and fathers and grandfathers who were lost in the seemingly useless cause. Emotion gets the better of you, and you find yourself shaking uncontrolably with sobs. What were they fighting for? Why did they go to fight?

For every question, there's an answer. They were fighting for *you*. You and the countless other miserable Parisian families who greatly mourned the loss of General Lamarque. The poor, the wretched, the unlucky, the sickly. They fought to make your country as great as it could be. The brave souls who'd paid a great price those nights were fighting for the right to have your voice heard.

What did they achieve? Everything.

~~J'Aimie Michelle Graham : April 19th 2000~~

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