More tears.

Trip Start Jan 09, 2013
1
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Thailand  , Kanchanaburi,
Thursday, February 21, 2013

Today I headed 2 hours north of Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. This town has many attractions ranging from Tiger Temple to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world (Erawan Falls).
But Kanchanaburi also buries a very sad history of POWs who were enslaved by the Japanese in 1943-4 to build a Death Railway connecting Burma and Thailand. 115,00 POWs and Asian laborers died during the 20-month construction of this railway. Kanchanaburi has a cemetery, a memorial and a very detailed museum depicting the history of the Japanese occupation here.

As soon as I stepped my foot onto the cemetery, I was overcome with emotions and I couldn't keep it together. One of the first headstones I saw was of an 18-yr old Australian soldier and I just sobbed. I walked along a beautifully groomed cemetery where thousands of British, Dutch and Australian POWs rest in peace. I just can't understand why war exists,...or how humans can commit unspeakable brutality against another.

120 Japanese and Koreans were tried for war crimes and 36 were sentenced to death. But it doesn't undo the crimes already committed. It doesn't compensate for the 100,000 Asian laborers who died and whose bodies were never recovered. POW deaths were apparently recorded by the survivors and the Japanese military. But the thousands of SE Asians who were kidnapped, enslaved and subsequently died were not properly buried nor recorded.

"Sad" doesn't even begin to represent the sentiments I have today.
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Comments

johnfarrant
johnfarrant on

Mo,
war is a devistating thing. It is hard to comprehend the things that happen in War, and even harder to try to understand what happens and why. I am a bit like you, I shed tears trying to understand what it would be like and what those individuals went through. Each ANZAC day here, celebrates the lives lost in War, and we can think of all people at that time. I feel it must be harder and more dificult for yourself with your cultural heritage, but we have to accept the past and build a future.

Your a wonderful person and that counts for a lot, tears and all.

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