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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Indonesia and Remembrance ~ One Blogger's Story

Her name is Desert Songbird. She writes from a desert in the southwestern part of the United States. Her blog is called The Ice Box. During the last BlogBlast she stood proudly on her blog turf, turned on the video camera and sweetly sang "Dona nobis pacem" to the world. It was one of the highlights - and most special moments - on the peace globe trail. I will never forget it.

She is ready for yet another BlogBlast For Peace in just a few days. This morning I received an email from this lovely Songbird in response to the post "Reason #14 To Fly a Peace Globe ~ Papua, Western New Guinea." This is what she had to say.

"The infighting in Indonesia is the very reason I am an American today. My parents fled with their children and the clothes on their back. More than 50 years later, the fighting and struggle continues."

We exchanged a few emails and she gave me permission to tell her inspiring story here. Read on.

"Had my parents not fled Indonesia , they would have been “ethnically cleansed” as it were. I would not be alive today. Remember those photos from the day Saigon fell? The ones of the people clamoring onto a helicopter in order to flee the crumbling city?
My parents fled Indonesia on one of the very last boats available to them. My oldest sister was about two and a half, and my second sister was a baby."

"Many people don’t know that for over 400 years, Indonesia was a Dutch colony until 1945 when they declared their independence (save for West New Guinea ). My paternal grandmother was a pure Javanese married to a Dutchman; my maternal grandparents were Dutch of French and German ancestry. After WWII, Sukarno wanted all those of Dutch or mixed ancestry to leave the country; those who didn’t faced “extermination.” My paternal grandmother went to West New Guinea , but most of my family fled to The Netherlands; my grandmother eventually followed with her two youngest sons. My parents then emigrated (legally, I might add) to the USA and (paraphrasing) I was born soon after."

Songbird - We love your beautiful singing peace-loving soul in the blogosphere. You, your remarkable ancestors and your children today, are shining examples of what it truly means to be free. I will always proudly fly this peace globe. It will remind me of the love and sacrifice of those people whose lives were - and still are - being uprooted by the ugly strains of war in our world. Thank you for allowing me to share your story.
And thank you for singing a peaceful song.

 Copyright ©  Mimi Lenox. All Rights Reserved.


Desert Songbird said...

I am humbled that you want to share my story, or rather, the story of my family. For my parents, I thank you.

Anonymous said...

She has an amazing talent. : )
What a beautiful contribution to the Peace Globe Movement.

Travis Cody said...

It is because of stories like these that my message is tolerance.

Akelamalu said...

I remember Desert Songbird's voice - beautiful.

Sandee said...

Yes, we do love Desert Songbird. I didn't know this about her family though. Very nicely done Mimi. :)

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