My husband and son are presently touring Vietnam and this morning they posted a picture from the Cambodian ‘Killing Fields’ where they visited yesterday.
It presented a heartrending reminder of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge days, when people were killed (murdered) by the thousands, for the simple reason that they weren’t ‘them’.
Sound familiar? That was what went on in the two ‘Great Wars’ and is still happening now in various pockets of our world today.
What happened in Cambodia happened not so long ago and now the scene of such horrors is a tourist - not attraction - but a place to visit to be reminded of what happened.
People comment on this (not) attraction. Most are moved almost beyond words, others miss the point and complain about the Cambodian people ‘benefitting’ from the place….with comments about the cost of a tuk tuk ride or the (minimal) cost of an entry fee (around $5, for heaven’s sake!)
But most people appreciate the chance to go there:
“Choeung Ek is as necessary to visit as Auschwitz in Poland.
“One of the best and most difficult ways to learn about this sad period in Cambodian history is by visiting the killing fields”
Sure, Choeung Ek may not be everyone’s ‘cup-of-tea’, but, by golly, it is a very chilling reminder of what can happen on our watch.
The bracelets on the tree (and on surrounding poles) are a fairly recent addition and are ‘peace’ bracelets left by visitors to help remember what went on.
By the way, the tree in the picture was used to bash in the heads of babies ad children.
Lest we forget.