"It 's actually a group photo with others, but luckily I can crop it to this size. I think this was taken in 1970 as I can read what he wrote at the back of the photo..."
In remembrance of Andrew Ang's oldest brother
"The first week after the country fell, many uncles, aunties, cousins of mine who were professionals and business people were taken by the Phnom Penh authority and they never returned... My father was tortured in front of me and subsequently died just a couple of months before the liberation in 1979..."
As his soul sailed beyond the horizon to touch the face of god, you'll be comforted to learn that life on earth is just a train stop away from eternity - Nikolas
"Well said Nikolas! Man, you are going to make me cry... He [brother] is 12 years older than me, but we were very closed... he took me everywhere with his Vespa and French car.... I can literally smell his cologne... I remember as a young kid, I heard the same comment all the time about him.... I always wanted to be as handsome as him..."
- Andrew C. Ang of Battambang now Sydney, Australia
Please find below names of my family and some personal feelings; I asked that you would put it into a better context for me. I'm afraid I don't have anything of my family as when we left we only got the clothes that we wore, as all our suitcases were on another ship when we left for Thailand and that ship went to Australia. And also I was on holiday at the time so was not prepared for anything like that.
In 1975, they were at home at that time - Tuol Tompong near Wat Tuol Tompong, Pnom Penh.
My beloved father Thou Sarin. My affectionate and loving mother Sam Bory.
My mischief, fun and loving brothers and sisters:
- Thou Sarin Sukunthong
- Thou Ataignong (Hong)
- Thou Dangchenko (Heagn)
- Thou Chan Raeksmey (Gnoke)
- Thou Puthida (A Megn)
- Thou Kaliti (A Tee)
And lastly, but not least, my adopted little brother whom I found crying alone in the street; he told us he ran away from a family that mistreated him. I asked my Dad if we could let him live with us. Sadly, I can't remember his name.
"We were parted from each other with not even a good bye, I do not know how you all lived during Pol Pot. I can't imagined the pain and suffering you all went through, but today and every day I feel your pain, not one day goes by that you leave my thoughts.
Every day I mourn.
Although I can't remember what you all looked like, but your name will always etched deep in my heart . I love you and I looked forward to be with you all a gain with Our Loving and merciful God in heaven."
Theary, thank you for giving me this opportunity to express my emotions. I'm still finding it difficult to cope with this sometime, even after talking with my British parents and I've been with them 34 years.
I have a lot to thank God for keeping me straight. He is such a faithful God to me and my parents who are in knee deep with solid Christian faith that really shines.
Like you, I'm too a daughter of the killing fields; it's just that I never lived through Pol Pol time. I left Phnom Penh April 17, 1975 (in my early teen) on the actual day that Khmer Rouge took over, I just happened to be at Ream near (Kompong Som) on holiday with my aunt and her family.
My aunt's husband was a navy officer; he had to go Kompong Som to give his men their wages and my aunt took me along not knowing that this would be the journey that would changed my life.
We could not return to Phnom Penh, so my uncle decided to head for Thailand; we were the first boat people and the first refugees Thailand had. There were a few hundreds of us, led by my uncle as he was one of the high rank officers there.
My aunt and her family went to France; myself and other children who came without parents were taken into care by a group of missionaries.
I now have British parents who love me dearly, but up to now I still don't know what happened to my Khmer family: Mum, Dad and my seven brothers and sisters. I assumed that they've all been killed during Pol Pot regime.
That is why I always like taking pictures so that my children will always have something to look back at when they grow up; and not like myself, I don't have any photos of my parents and brothers and sisters to look at, only now very vague images.
I'm not a very educated person as you can tell by my poor English, but I'm very interested in what you are doing for Cambodia and I really admire you. Our country needs a lot of work. Too many people are too afraid to speak up; the poor are getting bullied every day and the rich are buying themselves into comfortable positions . If you are not strong and educated you get trotted on without mercy, and if you dare to shout out too loud you get pinned down. It really depresses me every time I read about Cambodia.
- Sophea Omnou, Great Britain
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Kerry Hamill with Gail
My brother, Kerry Hamill, was a beautiful, strong, courageous and much loved man. He was the eldest of five children growing up by the sea in New Zealand. We had a blessed childhood, full of friends, fun, adventure and family. It was a childhood that fostered Kerry’s love of the sea and sailing but this love would ultimately bring about his premature death. During his version of New Zealand’s youth traditional OE (overseas experience), in August 1978 Kerry unknowingly sailed into Cambodian waters and was seized by the Khmer Rouge navy, taken to Toul Sleng prison (S21) where he was tortured and murdered.
Kerry, you and our brother John are with me always. I mourn for the loss of your life, the lost experiences of joy and love that the future held for you; the uncle that my children were never to meet and the future family of your own that was taken from you.
My search for your boat ‘Foxy Lady’ and your final resting place, where ever that may be and in whatever form that may take, continues so that one day I may bring you home to ‘Rest in Peace’.
In loving memory of KAO Im, a former teacher and Lon Nol's military commander, "disappeared" from Wat Champa (outskirt of Phnom Penh) in April 1975, a few days after Phnom Penh fell. His wife, Eat, was killed 3 years later at Boeung Rai prison (mid-1978). They are survived by their five children (Theary Seng and her brothers Mardi, Sina, Lundi and Daravuth.) Date of photo unknown.
In loving memory of Eap SENG (far left) who was brutally killed hugging her newly-wed husband along with the rest of their village, Eat SENG (middle) who was brutally killed along with the rest of the prison population of Boeung Rai (save her children) - sisters to An, Eng, Ani, Ry (far right), Renee and aunt and mother to Mardi, Sina, Lundi, Theary and Daravuth. Photo at the Wat Koh home, probably taken in 1974.
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In loving memory of UY Pierom as remembered by Artist/poet Chath pier Sath; pointing to his drawing of his brother UY Pierom who died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, along with Pierom's wife and all his in-laws. Both of Chath's parents also died when he was very young, one before 1975, the other immediately after the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia. "I don't really remember my brother that much. He was the oldest. I was too young to remember, but I do remember the night the Khmer Rouge came, we were all together as a family, my brother Pierom, his wife, children and in-laws. However, during the evacuation, we got separated. It was only after the Khmer Rouge that my mother knew of his fate and the fate of his family. He was a Lon Nol soldier fighting against the Vietcong on the American side. He was with my father when my father was shot and killed in battle. This is all I can remember." - Chath pier Sath
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The first one is of my sister Geak Ung, Mother Chourng Ung, and sister Keav Ung. (We lost Geak when she was 4 years-old; and Keav when she was fourteen during the KR). The second of is of my father Seng Ung. In remembrance of my family and the Khmer people; for theirs are not only the voices of war, but testimonies of love, family, beauty, humor, strength, and courage. ~ Loung Ung (author, activist).
Click here for MORE TRIBUTES . . .
We want to put a FACE and a NAME to the cold
figure of 1.7 M.
WE NEED YOUR HELP !
If you would like to honor your loved ones lost during the Khmer Rouge regime (April 1975 to Jan. 1979) via this webpage or that of Association of Khmer Rouge Victims (AKRVC) or both, please provide the following info:
- Photo(s) or drawing(s) of loved ones lost
- Names (official, nicknames etc.) and as much biographical information (date of birth, place of birth, when/where "disappeared" or killed or passed away and under what circumstances)
- Your personal message of remembrance of loved one(s)
- Your name and relationship to the loved ones.
Half to one-full webpage will be dedicated to your loved ones in a Survivors' Remembrance of their Loved Ones slideshow.
Write either in Khmer or English; both websites will have Khmer webpages to accommodate this journey of collective remembrance.
Please indicate where you would like this remembrance be posted (this webpage, at www.akrvc.org, or both).
Mia Farrow, Theary Seng handing lotus flowers to military police who returned the gesture with violence, after failing repeated to negotiate to lay them at the gate of Tuol Sleng, 20 Jan. 2008.
Guided by Mr. Van Nath with CIVICUS Cambodia Theary Seng for Kerry Kennedy, Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, John Heffernan (22 Feb. 2011) and renowned psychologist/author Dr. Ervin Staub and psychotherapist Dr. Luann Warren-Sohlberg, trustee of Headington Institute (7 March 2011)
Theary Seng (pointing at a mass grave, possibly where her mom was killed in 1978) speaking with man who was there at Bung Rei (the heart of the Eastern Zone) when she was a prisoner there. Mrs. Andrea Mann (the German Ambassador's real boss!), Helen & Wally Boelkins, Daravuth Seng, village children, filmmaker Marc Eberle (Svay Rieng, 18 Jan. 2010).
Here's a simple, beautiful example of a Sept. 11 memorial at the Boston Public Gardens (NYTimes, 11 Sept. 2010). How difficult is for us to come together to do this?!
The skulls at Wat Beoung Rai in one of 2 unprotected "cheddai". Among the 30,000 skulls, these are the only ones remaining: over the years, the villagers have been taking the skulls at liberty to grind them into traditional medicine. The bones are still in the mass graves in and around the pagoda and the nearby prison (above photo). On this visit with a great friend of Cambodia at the EU-Brussels and painter Danielle Dal Molin (4 Sept. 2010), I noticed that an "excellency" has spent @ US$3,000 to reconstruct this gaudy shiny "cheddai" with his name boldly, decidedly inscribed into this very public cheddai... This is the problem when memorializing is left into private hands with no community involvement and no national leadership at preservation.
Beoung Rai (Bung Rei, above) Security Center where 30,000 believed to be killed, including Theary Seng's mom and where she and her brothers were detained as children, incredibly / inexplicably not expressly mentioned as within ECCC scope of investigation. (Photo: DC-Cam)
We, the Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia ("AKRVC"), are survivors of the Cambodian killing fields (April 1975—January 1979) who are joined in our fellowship of suffering, in our demand for justice, and in our work for a just peace. In coming together, we become stronger and we are shaping our past for our future. We have each other. We have hope.