Long Beach Cambodians remember those they lost in the Killing Fields

May. 28, 2013 / By



Doualy Xaykaothao, The California Report | Take Two |

Many Americans spend Memorial Day visiting the graves of those who died while serving their country, but many Cambodian Americans are remembering loved ones. For the California Report, Doualy Xaykaothao has the story from Long Beach.

Memorial Day for Cambodian veterans took place last month on the 38th anniversary of the rise of the Khmer Rouge. This communist regime took control of Cambodia between 1975 and 1979, killing an estimated 2 million men, women and children.

“We try to teach the new generation to remember, to understand, but they are more American,” says 67-year-old Kanno Nuon, a survivor of the Cambodian Genocide.

He escaped to Long Beach three decades ago, but back in Cambodia, under the Khmer Rouge, he worked in a labor camp for three and half years. During this time, he says, he witnessed executions, torture, and he himself nearly starved to death.

“That time [was] very hard for me,” Nuon says. “I still remember everything about my hard time with the communists.”

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