Thanks for the Memory

What a week this has been. Everyday, we were so busy with interviews, meetings, visits to landmarks, and commemorations. It really felt like a month’s-worth packed into a week. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We were busy for a reason: all that we did in this week was to build a foundation for further research. It might not be the five of us returning to Spain to follow the clues left by Franco’s dictatorship; it might not be anyone from William and Mary. Whoever it is, though, will know exactly what we’ve done and won’t repeat it. They’ll have the names of Maria Luisa Fernandez, Ceferino Alvarez, Elena Diaz, Carmen Serrano, Veronica Sierra, Marcos Burgos, etc. They’ll know what we’ve already learned from these contacts and what is left to be covered. When I wrote my first proposal to take part in this trip to Madrid, I emphasized that time is of the essence, since most people directly involved are quickly advancing in age. I can now truly understand that urgency. Our feet ached as we toured the Ciudad Universitaria, our hearts ached as we spoke with Marcos Burgos in Almudena Cemetery, and our funny bones ached as we chatted with Ceferino on our last night in Madrid. Looking back, I know we did all that in so little time, because there is so little time left to recuperate these memories.

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