Komunitas Penggiat Sejarah Perjuangan Bangsa dan Sahabat Para pejuang Indonesia (Community of National Struggle History Activists and Friends of Indonesian Warriors)

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the lieutenant is now a beggar

MONDAY 28 July 2008, Simpang Simpang, Padang City. A frail old body, looking slumped. Barefoot on the brown pavement. His body was only wrapped in an opaque shirt. His head, too, was covered in a black skullcap that seemed to have been eaten away by age. The skullcap, as if faithfully covering his gray hair.

The old man named Anwar was 94 years old. Tanah Kuranji was the first place to welcome Anwar's birth. His face was wrinkled, covered with coarse gray hair. With only two teeth left, the old man's mouth was mumbling, grinning. Occasionally, his hands looked up, at every human who passed. Hoping for mercy and a scrap of money for his stomach fillers that are starting to ask to be filled. But all seemed indifferent. Anwar did not give up, his hands stretched out even more.

Anwar has no home. His life is just living in the house of the Koto Baru residents, people who are kind enough to accommodate his frail body. Living alone in old age makes Anwar have to give in to the harshness of the world. Anwar has been a beggar for 10 years. Just holding out his hand, that was Anwar's way of surviving. Understandably, almost a century old there was nothing he could do. The bones are brittle.

Don't ask Anwar's family, because that will only make him cry. "I don't have a family. My wife had died in 1960. Together with the baby she was carrying. Died due to lack of nutrition, “explained Anwar. Tears ran down his wrinkled cheeks.

Unlike other beggars, most of whom are retarded and have never received an education. Another Anwar. He mastered three foreign languages, Japanese, English and Dutch. Even when having a dialogue with POSMETRO, he occasionally uttered Dutch words. Anwar is fluent, his old tongue seems to be used to pronouncing foreign language utterances.

Increasingly curious about the "Old Man of Simpang Empat", the author began to follow Anwar's steps. Trying to find out more about him. Who is Anwar, already fragile but fluent in three languages? There is something hidden from the old man's life sheet and it makes the author's curiosity relapse! After two days of visiting Anwar at the intersection, the writer finally found out that Anwar was not just a beggar. Historical records were plastered from the old man's chatter.

Indeed, now Anwar is just a pitiful old beggar. His life is uncertain. However, if you trace history "tempoe doeloe" Anwar was a dashing young man who took up arms against the invaders. Anwar's rank is no joke, First Lieutenant, Commander of Company 3 Southern Sumatra. That was Anwar's area when he served as a national soldier to expel invaders. Isn't it extraordinary "The Young Anwar"?

"I am a former South Sumatra soldier. Under the leadership of Bagindo Aziz Chan I became the commander of Company 3 to go on an adventure across the field to attack the Dutch. There are countless sad stories that I experienced during the war. But, for the nation it's all been nothing. Only one thing made us proud when we came back from the battlefield. It's proud to wear a Dutch soldier's hat, it's a special pride and makes us feel honored,” said Anwar, staring blankly.

The small hole left by a bullet that adorned his right leg is proof of Anwar's participation in fighting for the nation. “This leg was pierced by a bullet on Jalan Jakarta (now called Simpang Presiden). It was still morning. Our nation has just made an agreement with the Dutch (Linggar Jati Agreement). But Aziz Chan is against the agreement. The Dutch were angry and raging. Attacking blindly in the middle of the City. As a result, yes, this leg was shot when I was going back to the Command Post," said Anwar.

Anwar was not shot once, in fact, he had experienced the stuffy and damp walls of the iron bars twice. "Four years I was in jail. Caught during the guerrillas, from Padang with the aim of Payokumbuah which at that time (in 1946) was in turmoil. But bad luck, passing through Padang Panjang I was caught by the Dutch. At that time, the bullets ran out while my leg was still wrapped in a piece of cloth covering the hot lead hole. I was herded, my feet shackled, I was given an iron group,” said Anwar trying to trace back his past adventures.

In Panjang Panjang, Dutch soldiers treated Anwar indecently. The blows from the buttocks of the guns, the cutting of daggers and the drinking of "the meneer's" urine almost every day visited Anwar's throat. But the Lieutenant remained strong. His head remained erect, even though the blood stream from his temple never stopped.

“Prison used to be, not like now. In the past, hands were tied with barbed wire, feet were tied with chains given an iron group. Hit every day. In fact, for drinking, they give water mixed with urine," said Anwar.

Regarding nationalism, Anwar is like "The Naga Bonar" even though he is old, his love for Indonesia has never subsided. Keep burning. "I was once asked by the Dutch, did I fight and become a soldier because of that just positions and titles? I just replied as it is, “I fight for the country, not position. When I die here I'm proud, because it's for the sake of the country,” commented Anwar recalling a life event that was still fresh in his memory.

Indonesia fully achieved independence. But that was not the case for Anwar, he received no awards. It is as if Anwar has forgotten his sacrifice and struggle. Anwar disappeared amidst the euphoria of independence. Plus the death of his wife, as if bringing disaster. Anwar lost his zest for life. Had fallen into the world of darkness. Anwar repents. However, life was never on Anwar's side. More and more drifting. Until the road as a beggar became his last choice.

There were no awards, no badge of honor that Anwar received from the Government. Even the title of veteran hero did not stop at Anwar. "I don't need anything. In the past, I fought not to get a sign of merit. I fight for the country. No sign of service or money needed. Let life like this, as long as it does not disturb others. I am willing. Indeed, most of my generation who took up arms were calm and lived out their old age with the glamour of wealth. I don't like that, for me fighting is not for the stability of old age, but for the nation's independence. Let people look at me with contempt. As long as I can calm down. Let it only eat for a day, the important thing is that this nation will be free," Anwar answered firmly, immediately stood up, went to ask the merchant for a glass of water in front of the AL-Mubarah Mosque, Sawahan.

Today, Friday (1/8), the writer intends to meet Anwar again. However, “The Lieutenant” disappeared from Simpang Kandang. The two piles of stones that Anwar usually leaned on lost their masters. Anwar is gone. Even though it was still early, the hour hand was only at nine. Where's Anwar?

Disappointed with the loss of Anwar, the author tries to trace Imam Bonjol's RTH (Green Open Space). The place where Anwar usually sleeps when fatigue kicks in on his vulnerable body. That's right, Anwar's old body lay among the green groves of Imam Bonjol. But there was something else from Anwar's appearance today. His clothes were not only opaque like yesterday, but even worse, the blue shirt he was wearing was fruitless. Showing the bones that look protruding wrapped in wrinkled skin. His stomach went flat. Sandalnyapun different colors, green and blue wrapped in a white plastic rope.

Trying to get closer, it turns out that Anwar is asleep. His chest looks up and down irregularly, puffed up. Her breastbone was getting more and more prominent. Anwar's eyes slowly opened. For a moment his gaze was blank. "Earlier I fainted son, hungry stomach. Even though I haven't gotten anything yet. I can't stand up. Luckily there was a pedicab driver who felt sorry for me. Bought me a pack of egg rice. But the body is still weak,” Anwar groaned weakly.

As before, even though his vulnerable body was still weak, Anwar still spoke at length about the hardships of life he had lived through for 10 years living on the streets. “I was only strong enough to stand at this intersection until 11 o'clock. This body is too old to stand for long. The sun is too fierce. It's true that when I was young, I could always conquer the tough battlefield. Ah, how long can this body survive waiting for metal scraps. I don't know,” Anwar mused.

Slowly, the series of Anwar's life began to unfold. Anwar's long chatter lifted the veil. Apparently, Anwar had also been a crew member of a German-flagged cargo ship. Graduated from Nine Schools (Behind Tangsi) in 1930. Anwar began to travel. From 1932 to 1939 Anwar sailed. During that period, Pak Tua saw a lot of cultural diversity.

"I graduated from Rear Barracks 1930. Then sailed for seven years around Asia to Australia. Then come home to fight. I don't want to have fun on a ship while our nation is fighting for independence. It is the national instinct that calls this soul to join the struggle," explained Anwar.

Anwar is adventurous, tracing every corner of the Indonesian Land to fight to expel the Meneer from Indonesia. Initially only with sharp bamboo. Anwar finally got the stolen weapons from the Dutch army. Weapon in hand, young Anwar began to whine. Spitting bullets at the forefront of Indonesian fighters.

"At first there were no weapons. We only have bamboo. However, from the hands of the Dutch that we managed to kill, we were able to get weapons. With that we attacked the enemy. Taking his hat as a "souvenir" from the battlefield," continued Anwar.

Until finally Indonesia became independent. The Dutch left the land of the Nation. Of course, independence is the result of the struggle of our heroes. Including Si Anwar who fought in the two episodes of the war. Anwar fought bravely. But what did the lieutenant get? Until now, Anwar still has the status of a neglected national hero. Welcome hero

old days by carrying out the profession as a beggar. Indonesia is independent, but Anwar is still “occupied by life”!!.

Indeed, in the past Anwar was once given a piece of paper bearing the award of being a fighter by the Government. However, because of his way of life, which often moved places, the "will" disappeared somewhere. In fact, the letter was the foundation for Anwar to accept his rights as a Veteran.

“In the past, I was given a letter by the government. If I'm not mistaken it's a Grelyan Star letter. But the letter is gone. People said the letter was a condition for receiving benefits from the government. But that's okay, I don't need that either. I have already said that I am not fighting for money, let alone a position. Even though I beg, I don't bother other people. I've lived happily on a boat. Now is the hard time. Life is like a wheel, son. Sometimes below. Once again, I fight for Indonesia. Seeing the Red and White fly without any disturbance is a pride in itself. Nothing makes me happy except seeing the Indonesian flag flutter,” chattered Anwar.

Lieutenant Colonel Anwar, the national hero now is just a dirty old body, no one cares. Anwar is increasingly disappearing in the midst of the busy city of Bengkuang. "A great nation is a nation that appreciates the services of its heroes," said Bung Karno. But those are just words, not reality. Can't believe it? ask it all to Anwar. Our hero, who until now has stretched out his hand to survive. Indeed, Anwar did not ask for anything from his struggle. But, do we have the heart to see the people who released us from the clutches of the colonialists have to be stranded? Begging for life. The land of independence that we stand on is the result of the bullets of the Heroes driving out the invaders. But why do we close our eyes to it. Has the respect for the Heroes faded with the brunt of time? Once again, don't forget Anwar who has persistently fought for the nation. Government? maybe forget also about the fate of the Captain.



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