Last Saturday I went to the Genocide Memorial, a final resting place for about 250,000 people. April 1994, the President of Rwanda’s plane went down and that was the catalyst of a brutal massacre of the Tutsi tribe. For 90 days, the Hutu tribe sought out and killed as many Tutsi tribe members as they could find. No one was safe, women and children included. People tried to hide in churches but in the end it made it easier to exterminate them. 1 million perished, while the world stood by and did nothing. Being part of the world that stood by, I have to say I didn’t know. Why? Because the media didn’t talk about it. There was a section that focused on the power of the media. In Rwanda, the media was revving people up by talking about how they needed to exterminate the Tutsi by saying “kill the cockroaches.” The media in the US didn’t talk about it. There were warnings that this was about to happen and no one heeded it. Many would say we can’t step in and handle other country’s issues, what I want us to consider is the humanity of it. Women were brutally raped and watched their husbands and children massacred in front of their eyes. Then they were killed. Babies were macheted or left to starve to death. As I walked through the Memorial, I asked myself is it appropriate to sit back and do nothing?
I visited the garden and the burial. I came across 3 separate gardens; the Garden of Unity, Division and, Reconciliation. There was water that flowed to each garden that was interconnected. I took a moment and sat at the Garden of Division. I was envisioning how much hatred had to be present for so many lives to be lost and families to be destroyed. I had to take a moment to do individual reflection on personal responsibility. However you look at it, as Christians we are all interconnected. How can we ensure this doesn’t happen again? I have no answers only a heavy heart. The person I was when I walked in the Memorial was not the same person I was when left it. Sometimes I need my core to be rocked in order to see if perhaps I am being a bit complacent in our world. So much to reflect on in the days, months, and years ahead.