Rwandan Genocide (Post by Isaac) Tuesday, I went to two genocide memorials. First, I went to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which was built beside a mass grave that holds the bodies of an estimated 280,000 who were killed in the Rwandan Genocide against Tutsis by Hutus in 1994. This memorial was for all genocides of the last century, which means that the bottom floor was dedicated to the Rwandan Genocide, but the second floor had exhibits of other genocides from the twentieth century, the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the Cambodian Genocide, the Namibian Genocide, and more. The Rwandan Exhibit portrayed life before the genocide and what had lead to the ethnic rivalries here, and then moved to explain what happened during the genocide, and finally showed how reconciliation and healing took place after the genocide. There was also a children's room. The children’s room had pictures and descriptions of children, some as young as two years old, who were killed in the genocide in an attempt to rid the world of future Tutsis. What makes this genocide particularly hard for me to stomach, is that there were neighbors and family friends who turned on each other. One of the translators here told me a story of uncle's killing their nephews who had a Tutsi father. After we left that memorial, we traveled east to Nyamata, to a church where 5,000 Tutsis were killed. In the years leading up to the genocide, the anti-Tutsi government sent many Tutsis to this area, in hopes that they would die of starvation. Instead, the Tutsi population managed to survive, so when the genocide began, many families traveled to the churches which had previously served as safe havens during ethnic killings. It was here where the Hutus broke holes into the walls of the church, and threw grenades in, set fire to the kitchen which was full of other refugees, and threw small children against walls. This memorial site was currently under renovation. The government workers were putting a new freestanding roof above the church and outlying buildings to protect them from the weather, and the mass graves were being opened up to bury the bodies properly. As a result, there was a shed full of the objects that were normally in the buildings, and coffins that were going to go into the mass grave. What struck me here was that many people had brought cooking supplies, and the children had brought their school books, planning on returning to normal life and class after a few days of fear. My experiences at these two genocide memorials, being born four years after these events took place, left me with the following realizations. First, the only genocide I had ever heard of before planning this trip was the Holocaust, and I realized that, for some reason, the educational system that I passed through did not put value on studying these horrific events. Secondly, when speaking with Pastor Reynolds, he asked me if I had heard the name Kurt Cobain, which I have. The reason that the Rwandan genocide went largely unnoticed for some time in the United States is that Kurt Cobain, just one man, died two days before the genocide and captivated the media. It upsets me that modern society has moved, and continues to move, in a direction where human life is less important than entertainment.