A Day of Remembrance

During our studies in Cambodia, we learned about the tragedies during the time of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. We took a trip to one of the killing fields and were taught some of the cruel methods that were used during that time. We stood together where thousands lost their lives. Our tour led us across the mass graves where we could see remnants of clothing as well as bones and teeth. We learned about the methodical procedures that were used and why this happened the way it did. It was a very difficult day for all of us.

As we reflected on our visit, we realize just how important it is for us to remember what has happened in history. We are humans and we must learn from our mistakes. Today, many of us learned about a genocide that did not happen too long ago, yet none of us had heard of it before. Some students were angered by the fact that this was not taught to us before. Others commented on how we must not see the enemy as "the other" but rather we see it as a human problem. We cannot claim that this problem is not our own. There are still mass killings happening across the world. We must acknowledge that this is part of all of our history. If we are to stop these genocides, we must admit our own faults.

The Choeung Ek Stupa that houses the remains of those killed in the Cambodian killing fields.
The skulls of the dead displayed in the Choeung Ek Stupa. Dug up from the killing field.
In honor of the dead, gifts were left at the mass grave sites and along the areas where the Cambodians lost their lives to the Khmer Rouge.