April 17, 1975 – Bangkok calling Phnom Penh

Forty-two years ago the forces of the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh. Joyous crowds greeted the jungle fighters with the hope of peace. The radio operator of the Royal Cambodian Army in Sihanoukville broadcasted a last message to his compatriot in his capitol.

Lieou Phin Oum.

“Goodbye sir. See you in Phnom Penh.”

The Lieutenant Colonel didn’t make it back to his homeland that year and missed the forced exodus of the cities. Over a million Cambodian died under the reign of the Khmer Rouge.

Year Zero.

I was 24.

I got to Phnom Penh in 1995.

Lieou Phin Oum has passed onto a new position.

He remains honored by the front-line observers of that conflict.

“Some gave some. A few gave all.”

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