Monday, November 26, 2007

The Killing Fields and S21

Today I visited S21 prison where thousands were tortured and then the Killing fields of Choeung EK where tens of thousands of Cambodians were killed by the Pol Pot regime between 1975 and 1979.

Sometimes words cannot convey all we want them to. Sometimes the horror is so much that we find ourselves mumbling Kyrie Eleison – Lord Have mercy …. On ourselves as well as the pitiful victims of the Khmer Rouge.

Today it is a strangely peaceful site with quiet waters flowing past the green trees and the faint sound of children playing in the distance. It’s hard to believe that I’m standing on a mass grave of thousands of people, many of whom were bludgeoned to death to save the price of a bullet. In the memorial on the site thousands of skulls are stacked in a glass tower, as a memory and tribute to the unnamed and unknown who died here.

We breathe in and try to comprehend what happened here. Some are silent , some quietly weep. I find the words spoken to me as a child, somewhat comforting … Our Father who art in heaven , hallowed be thou name …. I repeat the prayer as I walk around the site, though I struggle with Thy will be done on earth.

Kyrie Eleison, Lord have mercy

Christe Eleison. Christ have mercy on us all.

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