Interview with George Clements

One more time. What were you trying to share with the children after Fred had died?


The, ah, morning after the murder of Fred, I decided that we would have a mass here at Holy Angels in which we would memorialize Fred, and it would give us the opportunity to really impress upon the children, ah, the real impact of his life and what it should mean to them. And, ah, in the middle of the mass I was attempting to do this, and I was feeling very frustrated. I was feeling as though I really wasn't getting through, and I was just so extremely upset at this inability to articulate my feelings to these children so that they could understand. And in the midst of all this, I just burst into tears. And the first thing I noticed was that there was an eighth-grade boy who jumped up, and he said, "I am Fred Hampton!" And then there was a sixth-grade girl. She said, "I am Fred Hampton!" And then, and then before I knew it a kid in first grade, and the children all started shouting, "I am Fred Hampton!" And it made me realize, "Well, I, we did get through because, ah, they do understand the need to perpetuate Fred, that you can kill the dreamer, but you might not kill the dream." And I could see the dream being realized in their own lives. And so, I, I, I really felt that the mass had a lot of meaning, and I think it's something that those youngsters will never forget for the rest of their lives.


Thank you. Cut.