Friday, May 24, 2013


Khao Lak. Tsunami Memorials.

Khao might recall that name from the news reports of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

It was necessary to take a moment to ponder awhile on what had happened there.
The official count of dead stands at over 4,000; but unofficially it could be over 10,000. People just disappeared.
We had fun and saw beauty on the beach......but I had to stand awhile and think of all those people and their families and all that people had experienced.
The first tasks were to find the dead and feed and house and help the survivors.
New villages have appeared now.....we saw a very "little boxes" village; but better than tents.
Khao Lak goes on - life goes on.
The tsunami is not forgotten. There are warning sirens, just in case it should happen again. There are notices advising where people should go to.
And memorials are being constructed.....big and small. But these have to come after the living have rebuilt their worlds.
And to some extent, clinging onto the past goes against Buddhist beliefs. The dead move on to their next existence and we have to let them go.

That's our beach.....or could be our beach. I have looked at dozens of pictures and recognise very few places.
So much has been re-built and re-developed.

We visited two memorial sites close to Khao Lak.

This one, with its gentle wave shape on the left was close to the beach.

The memorial had been built by a boat that had been washed up and over the beach.

Another boat gained fame. It was a police boat and was carried over the  beach and way inland...2 Km inland. We visited it on our second visit to Khao Lak.
It had been out at sea as part of the security operation to watch over a Royal Princess and her children on holiday.
Her son, the young prince lost his life.

A big memorial is planned here. Will it ever be completed?

The extensive plans seem to have been left to a handful of Burmese workers with primitive tools.

That poor Burmese woman hasn't a hope of building all this.
Perhaps it is time to let the thousands go and remember with much simpler memorials.
Nature can be cruel; life can be cruel..........but we all should look to the future rather than the past.

My grandson, walks carefree by the police boat.
The tsunami came before he was born.
We know that if it had come a few hours earlier then he might never have was 3 weeks before his birth.

But things were good for the boy and his family - my family.
And his life is good and his future will, I hope be good.

Grasp life today....let the past go.