Thursday, July 18, 2013

Reminders of the Genocide

In Rwanda there were many reminders of the 1994 genocide, or civil war as I think of it. Shown below is a picture of a soccer stadium in Ruhengeri across the street from our hotel.

Soccer Stadium in Ruhengeri, Rwanda
From what our guide told us it is basically a memorial to those that died in the genocide, perhaps even people that were killed inside that very soccer stadium. While we were there at least five people brought up the 1994 civil war on their own in my presence. There is a lot of talk of unity in Rwanda and being all one people, which they really are considering they all speak the same language and have lived in the same country for a long time. 

We met all manner of people that had connections to the genocide. A woman who lost her husband, a family who's house was destroyed, we heard of relatives that fought and lived, for every Rawandan old enough to remember 1994, it is something they do not want to relive.

Even memorials like this, smaller than a road exit sign, are important to keep. When we forget the past we are doomed to repeat our former mistakes. 

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