So, coming whenever I stop being lazy: a story full of stories. A story filled with roses, propaganda, absurdity, nobility, preserverence, pride, and inequality. Let's start from the middle.
The holes in the wall
Conquerors hate history. They often prefer to rewrite it, bury it, or burn it. And thus was the fate of this quiet, square – no indication of what had happened, save the pockets in the sturdy motar.
"Do you know what happened?" he asked.
"No," I responded. "A firing squad, perhaps?"
"That's what the government would like to have you think," he replied. The government is ashamed of the square and its grotesquely battered motar. They say that firing squads had executed criminals there.
But look again. How do firing squads typically fire: do they fire untrained at a large range of heights? Would they miss their targets so many times? Do they use shells that are so powerful, that they take out large chunks of motar upon impact? No, the local people will tell you. The true story went differently.
The true story was, that the square was bombed. The dents are caused by bombshells – explaining their depth, size, and location. And after the bombing, the residents came out to help each other, clear the debris, and rebuild – wars were not uncommon in this region, and just as after any disaster, life must go on. The clock will not stand still when you sit and weep.
But their attackers did not merely stop at that. They returned with their bombers, massacring the citizens who were clearing the square and leaving the walls even more pocketed than before.
The tragedy was deemed embarassing, and erased from the history books. You can do these things when you are the winner. Just as you can the people to poverty, siphoning 60% of the region's GDP to redistribute to other regions. But you cannot bury the tales that the people tell, as little as you can erase the holes scarring the walls.