12 Jun

He was eleven.  He’d never been scrap metal collecting before, but he and his two school friends followed some adults.  They wanted to earn some money.  The adults carefully put aside the unexploded cluster bombs.  The children didn’t know what they were.  His school friend picked two up and banged them together.

He was still alive when his Mum and Dad got to him.  They hired a truck and took him to the nearest hospital.  There was no blood and no oxygen, so they couldn’t treat him.  They took him to the next hospital.  There was no blood and no oxygen.  They knew they couldn’t make it to another hospital in time, so they took him home to die.  He was eleven.

Laos had millions of cluster bombs dropped on it by US planes during the Vietnam war.  Clearing them is a gargantuan task and countless numbers remain unexploded in the Lao countryside.  This heartbreaking story is sadly one of many.


12 Responses to “UXO”

  1. Trish @ Mum's Gone to 12/06/2011 at 11:03 am #

    Such a tragic story and what a terrible waste of a young life.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 18/06/2011 at 9:43 am #

      It was.

  2. Merry 13/06/2011 at 12:53 pm #

    It is just not fair that these things happen. To lose a child, to see and hear of children lost, is terrible under any circumstances, but when it is someone’s fault and when it could have been avoided had fate just taken a different path that day, oh it is so hard to bear 😦

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 18/06/2011 at 10:26 am #

      It really isn’t. We sometimes don’t realise quite how lucky we are.

  3. Chris Mosler 14/06/2011 at 9:17 am #

    Utterly heartbreaking.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 18/06/2011 at 10:27 am #

      Yes x

  4. Mumrablog 14/06/2011 at 9:44 am #

    More bombs dropped on Laos than on Vietnam during the war. Such a beautiful country, truly came home looking through different eyes after my travels there.

    Great post and again I’m gagging to get back travelling after reading your posts! X

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 18/06/2011 at 10:28 am #

      It’s such a beautiful country. I’d love to go back and see more of it.

  5. TheMadHouse 15/06/2011 at 3:16 pm #

    Thank god for the NHS, we are so privileged. That is heartbreaking

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 18/06/2011 at 10:29 am #

      Free healthcare at the point of entry is truly a wonderful thing.

  6. Firefly Phil 23/06/2011 at 10:19 am #

    This really makes me think: How much grief, sorrow, loss, injury, pain, distress, suffering and sadness has been indirectly inflicted, by western nations, on other countries, especially those less economically developed, with very questionable justification or benefit, and furthermore, at high cost to the western taxpayer?

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 25/06/2011 at 2:35 pm #

      It’s true. It’s often hard to see past the statistics, but every single exploding bomb is a tragedy.

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