I heard a lot about this place in my travels and reading about South East Asian history, so it was on my list of things to see and try to understand that this happened in the last 35 years of humanity. I hit the road today headed to to see another sad site, very similar to my visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Nazi extermination camps that I visited when in Poland. The year was 1979 in Cambodia under the rule of Pol Pot, a Cambodian Nationalist revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge that murdered over three million people. The Memorial stands among the shady fruit groves and still present mass graves.
Located about 15 Kilometers from the down town area of Phnom Penh a memorial site called Choeung Ek which is now known as the Choeung Ek Memorial sits for visitors and history to view. The mass graves sits on 2 hectors of land, although there were others sites similar, this one may have been the main stage and most haunted by brutality. The 1988 built pagoda structured memorial stands and houses the remains from some of the 18-20,000 men, women, and children that were tortured and killed here under the Khmer Rouge regime. The area also known as the Cambodian Killing Fields.
After seeing all of this, now the real life mixes with the words I’ve read manifesting inside of me to feel outrage mixed with sadness and disgust. Disgust that still today there are people in our world that have the ability to control and do such outlandish acts on other human beings. It hurts me to know that this happened relatively recently in the past 35 years and may still be happening in other places in our world today. How is it that we humans can allow for such cruel and unjust treatments of life.