Bomb Village (Phonsavan), Laos: Now They Fear the Earth

Dear Lunch Table,

The U.S. dropped bombs on Laos every 9 minutes for 9 years . . .

During Nixon’s presidency, a secret war was waged on Cambodia, and bombs were dropped on neutral Laos. When U.S. bombers were unable to drop their bombs on the Vietcong during the Vietnam War, the pilots were order to unload cluster bombs on innocent villages in Laos rather than going through special procedures to land their planes. 260 million cluster bombs were dropped on Laos . . .

Bombshells in Bomb Village are recycled and used in the community. Above, the bombshells are used as house support.

No longer is the sky feared . . .

Today the bombing has stopped.

Today a kid finds a “ball.”

Today a kid gathers friends to play with the ball.

Today a kid kicks the ball.

Boom.

Now the kids are dead.

No longer is the sky feared.  Now, the earth is feared.

Today a mother and father buy a field with their life savings.

Today they go out into the sun.

Today they clear their field.

Today the father walks.

Today the father steps.

Boom.

Now the parents are dead.

No longer is the sky feared. Now, the earth is feared.

Kids are kids. They love to explore. They should be children. They should be able to play with newly found objects without being blown up. Their parents shouldn’t have to nervously chew their fingernails everyday of their lives hoping they warned their children enough times about playing with foreign objects.

Parents should be able to work. They shouldn’t have to worry about stepping on an unseen land mine. They shouldn’t have to tiptoe around fear . . . They shouldn’t have to tiptoe into death by trying to walk around it.

A bomb recycled to create a garden.

There are some nonprofit organizations, such as the international Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and the national Unexploded Ordinance (UXO), that have contributed to cleaning up deadly explosives as well as informing Laos citizens about the danger of unexploded land mines and bombs. While these organizations have been working hard to clear the 75 million bombs that failed to explode, less than 1% of these bombs have been removed.

Currently 111 countries have signed a treaty banning production, stockpiling, distribution, and use cluster bombs. The U.S. has refused to agree to these terms.

The U.S. dropped bombs on Laos every 9 minutes for 9 years . . .

Sorry to be so depressing, but walking around the village was awful. Before visiting, I didn’t know about the bombs or the dead children. I want their stories to be heard and the world more aware of the consequences of cluster bombs.

I miss you guys,

KJ

Interesting Fact: Laos is the most bombed country in the world. 25,000 Laotians have been killed or injured by the bombs since the end of the war. Today, 300 Laotians die every year.

  What is The U.S. Doing to Ban Cluster Bombs?

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About KJ

I, KJ Davidson-Turner, have willingly given up the trauma and drama of Junior year and my lovely friends at the lunch table (I'm going to miss you guys!) to travel to unknown areas of the world and experience the cultures of these unfamiliar places.

One Response to “Bomb Village (Phonsavan), Laos: Now They Fear the Earth”

  1. This is such a sensitive account of this often untold chapter of history…..thanks for your important insights ….and for the link to organizations dedicated toward resolution and peace!

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