Tuesday, April 12, 2011

mass grave.

DuPort Road is a city just outside Monrovia where one of our LACES leagues is. A few days ago, James took me there to show me something.

During the car ride, James began to tell me about the site we were going to visit. All kinds of atrocities were committed during the war, and since I’ve been here I’ve heard horror stories ranging from pouring melted plastic into a woman’s eyes to burning men alive. This was the first time, however, I’d heard of any of the atrocities against children.

In 1990, the then president of Liberia sent out trucks to Nimba, a city five hours away, to collect as many children as the trucks could hold. James said that soldiers told the children they were going to go somewhere to celebrate, and promised the children food and games. Little did they know, the children were literally on the way to their grave.

The trucks took the children from Nimba to DuPort Road, where a giant pit had been dug. Every single one of the children was thrown into the pit and buried alive.

I felt weird getting out of the car and stepping onto the ground on top of the mass grave. I looked around and wondered how big the pit must have been to hold the hundreds and hundreds of bodies burried. I looked down at my feet and wondered how far beneath the dirt their bones were now.

James and I talked with some residents of DuPort Road about the massacre. While the laughter from children around us provided odd background noise for the horrific story I was hearing, it was also comforting in some way. Even after all the evil that had happened at this very place, the sounds of children laughing somehow proved that good had triumphed.

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