Tooch Van, a friend and a member of Lowell’s Cambodian-American community, shared the following poem:
When Khmer Rouge Soldiers did not kill me was
a mistake of their mission that night, this what I believe of it.
I am in debt to my parents/ family and other Cambodians and their families who died in the genocide.
The responsibility of sharing,
my family story and what happened in the Killing Field is the obligation of mine
Even though, struggles and challenges every time I share it, but I still shall continue sharing it until my last breath.
My own Children: Winston & Franklin and younger generations like you and your children and grandchildren deserve to know & to learn
what happened in the Killing Field (Cambodian Genocide) is not only from the written materials or prints but also from a power of sharing through weaving words into a form of story of telling.
Today my true aim is not to get you to lament of me and my family or their Cambodians family stories of those who died, but to get you to learn about how the genocide impacts
the lives of real people/survivors lives like ME!
In hoping that you pick up the torch of responsibility and courage
To continue passing on to others through a power of sharing: either through poems, films, books, songs or short stories,
in order to prevent the genocide from happening again.
And in hoping you enrich yourself with
your personal integrity, morality, critical thinking, as well as a compassion for others, every time you make a decision.
If you do that, you will be the one who is the source of inspiration and hope, you are the one who will do your part of sharing social responsibility, and you will be the one who will make a difference in our community.