The funeral ceremony for the YPG's 4 internationalist martyrs, Martyr Demhat Goldman (Robert Grodt from US), Martyr Soro Zinar (Luke Rutter from UK), Martyr Rodi Deysie (Nicholas Warden from US), and Martyr Zafer Qereçox (David Taylor from US) was held this morning in Derik.
Hundreds of people attended the ceremony, which began with a military exercise saluting the martyrs. A minute's silence was followed by speeches in Kurdish and English.
Mothers carried the photographs of our fallen comrades as the martyrs' comrades carried those fallen on their shoulders to the border crossing in Semelka.
A speech was made by Cesur Herekol on behalf of the General Command of the Internationalist Battalion
We publish the speech below:
Every single martyr for us is a promise for the victory. Our struggle against the terrorism of oppression and tyranny is a struggle that is in the name all humanity. Our struggle surpasses borders. We are fighting against the enemies of humanity. Serok Apo who lit the fire of freedom and revolution in Kurdistan once said that the movement is the movement of martyrs. Martyrs are our guides, our compasses, and our inspirations.
With the martyrdom of Şehid Demhat, Şehid Soro, Şehid Rodî, and Şehid Zafer; we renew our promises for victory of freedom and revolution. They have come from lands that are far away and wanted to know about the truth of fire. Through the struggle, they discovered that the fire illuminates, warms, and burns. They revolved around it with their courage and dignity without hesitation and were united with the fire. They are like thousands of others the only ones who know now the truth about the fire and will illuminate our path on the way to victory. In the very presence of them, we promise that we will never deviate from this path.
They have taken their places in the hearts of martyrs’ mothers and of the people of Rojava. We are proud of them. I myself met Şehid Demhat at the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. He was a wonderful comrade and a true revolutionary who met the mother of his now four year old daughter while treating her as a street medic. When their daughter was born, she was called as ‘the child of the revolution.’ When he made the decision to join the Rojava Revolution, he knew that he might have to make the sacrifice he made. For him this sacrifice was not just about fighting fascism in the form of Daesh. It was also about providing peace not only for Rojava but also for all the Middle East and beyond.
When Şehid Soro joined YPG he said that he did this because YPG stands for the best opportunity for peace in the Middle East. He showed a great interest in the subjects and participated actively in the academy. In the collective life of YPG, he always helped his comrades and was respected by all. We have never seen him yelling at someone, complaining about anything. He deeply knew about peculiarities of the Middle East and was always eager to learn new things.
Şehid Rodi had already fought against the enemies of humanity in other parts of the world. But when he came to know about YPG, he also wanted to learn about Rojava Revolution. He was a true disciplined soldier and was a source of inspiration for all his comrades. He was generous in sharing his experiences and was self-giving in sharing responsibilities. He was a source of morale for everyone around him with his joy and sense of humor.
Şehid Zafer was also a wonderful comrade with high ethical and intellectual standards. He was honest and courageous. His integrity was impressive. His humility was inspiring. He had said that ‘The Rojava Revolution is honorable because it wants to grant equal protections and freedoms to women and minorities. This is unique in the region.’ He had gladly taken Qereçox as his second nom de guerre and heroically carried to the end.
We, as their comrades, will always be proud of them and will follow in their footsteps. There are already internationalist comrades who have taken their names. The fire of freedom and peace will continue to flame and spread to the Middle East and beyond. With this hope, courage, and determination; we say again Şehîd Namirin! Bîjî YPG and YPJ! Bîjî Serok Apo!