The fallout from our conflict with the Exiles is starting to settle. It's been a hard and tearful few days, as we've treated our wounded and consigned brave men and women to their funeral pyres. There's an overwhelming sense of sadness around New Haven right now, but also new shoots of hope rising through the ashes.
Our fallen friends and family will be missed, but even those most deeply wounded by their passing recognize the bravery with which their lives were given. Without those we lost and their willingness to stand against an enemy that seemed unstoppable, without their help in our desperate gamble, New Haven would likely be a smoking ruin. I've lost count of the times I've said this over the last two years, but thank you.
Not just thanks for those who died, but to those who lost loved ones in the struggle. The fallen have moved on from the danger and death that lurks around every corner in this world. It's you who are left behind that deserve equal respect. You've lost husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, best friends. A little bit of the light that brightened your world has gone out, and your lives are that much darker.
I see the pain on your faces and the tears in your eyes, yet you go on. You honor the memory of those lost in the best possible way: you live. And though your hearts are heavy, you'll soon laugh again, and enjoy warm days and sunsets from a home that continues to exist because of the generous hearts of people unwilling to bend or break in the face of annihilation. Once the wounds begin to heal, you'll take comfort in that.
You will not fall apart.
In the world that was, disintegration happened to people all too often. Life would strike one blow too many, and something deep and vital would break. We've been through too much, fought too hard to make it with all the world seemingly against us, to ever let that happen. It isn't a matter of strength, necessarily. I've seen strong people give in to depression. I don't know what it is, for sure, but I know that even as you hurt you see the need to use the lives and freedom that were bought and paid with the sacrifice of dear friends to the fullest.
There will always be threats. Zombies will, on those warmer days, move against us as they have from the first moments of The Fall. As long as the undead exist, our lives will be contingent on our wits, resourcefulness, and willingness to stand as one.
There will likely always be people like the Exiles as well. Human beings are bred to hate, to kill, to make war. Our genes make us our own worst enemy, and even among the most peaceful there will doubtlessly be born those who commit acts that run counter to that way of life.
We've seen all things fall apart. The world has ended in all practical senses of the term. Society as it was has fallen, infrastructure is mostly useless. Social, political, and governmental structure have all been reset to zero.
Yet here we are, working against entropy to build something new. Something that evolves as we choose it to evolve. Because we recognize that being human and being alive is only worthwhile and meaningful so long as we choose to find worth and meaning. We see the truth; that survival is a means to make a better life for those who come after.
So mourn our lost, as is fitting. But remember every moment of danger and effort that led us to right now. Remember to give silent thanks to the fallen, as I give written thanks to you. We hurt as one, but we're strong. Some of us will die, but the community will live on.
We're survivors. When things begin to fall apart, we are the ones who choose to put them back together.