In the midst of all the progress Ambassador Andrew Young and I experienced in what I now call the "new Rwanda," I and we had to pay our respect to the past. The now world known and horrific genocide of 12 years ago.
1 million Rwandan, mostly Tutsi or moderate Hutu, were maliciously killed in 80 days of rage; a killing machine of more than 10,000 people per day being murdered. Men, women, children, grandchildren. No one was spared. And those that were not killed, and there were thousands more, were maimed or raped and left for dead for days and weeks time. How could one person do this to another? This was my pain as I walked through the memorial to the victims of Kigali, Rwanda. Behind me lay the flame that burns in the victims' honor for 100 days at a time. Behind that, lies the mass grave of more than 250,000 victims of the genocide.
Now, with all of this pain, it is simply remarkable that this amazing group of people and country called Rwanda, decided to heal and to move on with their lives. Today no one calls themselves or each other publicly Hutu or Tutsi. The entire time we were there, everywhere we went and everyone we met, just called themselves and each other "Rwandan." A beautiful thing. A rainbow, after this storm.
Onward, with HOPE
John Hope Bryant