It started as a motto and ended as a physical reality across Arizona’s wild lands
By Tim Steller | 30 January 2021
ARIZONA DAILY STAR — In the beginning was the word, and the word was “wall.”
“Not fence,” the counselors advised. “Wall.”
When the man talked of the wall, the people stirred, they shouted, they chanted: “Build the wall! Build the wall!”
The man noticed the stirring. So the word became a promise, and the promise became a test of loyalty. The test became a campaign commitment, and the commitment became a jobs program.
Now, you can stand in the striped shadow of 30-foot bollards in the wilds of Southern Arizona. The steel is driven into concrete poured feet into the ground, and topped with metal plates.
It looks intimidating, as intended — a big barrier, slashing straight across the land. A border wall.
But it’s not just that. It’s a monument. It’s a monument to a mnemonic device made into a moving motto — “build the wall.” An idea with an urgent, fleeting life, just ended.
It’s a monument to the word. […]