We must not forget.
We will transform our past suffering into a positive future.
We will continue life’s journey with understanding, compassion, and wisdom.
Remembering the Killing Fields
April 17, 1975. We welcomeD the victors of Cambodia’s civil war to Phnom Penh, expecting peace.
Instead, Khmer Rouge soldiers command us to leave. Terrified, we join the thousands fleeing the city. In the chaos, our family becomes separated. We walk for weeks with little to eat toward an unknown destination. Day and night, we hear the cries of children, the sick, and the elderly. Many die along the way. We arrive in the countryside, and are assigned to heavy labor digging an irrigation canal. Others plant rice. Children fertilize the fields. Those that disobey disappear. This is the new world order: Pol Pot’s Year Zero. Affection is forbidden. Laughter is rare. Punishment is swift and ruthless. Death is everywhere.
In just 3 years, 8 months and 20 days, more than two million Cambodians died from ruthless slaughter, starvation and disease. This exhibition honors not only those who died, but also those who survived to keep their memory alive.