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Michael Yon on the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol

[ by Charles Cameron ]



Michael Yon on Facebook, and (illustrated) on his journal page under the heading Rivers of tears flow tonight:

On one level, there is not much to say other than that one of the greatest leaders in history graced us for so long. He is the Father of Thailand. He was a champion of peace, freedom, and prosperity, and a good friend to America and to American people. His Majesty is loved by many Americans.

Americans normally do not like Kings, but King Bhumibol is a great exception. Those who studied him grew to respect him, then to like him, and finally to share in the love for the King of Kings. The love for His Majesty is so immense that it could fill the Gulf of Thailand.

Thais are among freest people on earth, thanks to His Majesty. He brought his millions of sons and daughters very far, and he taught lessons and brought inspiration to foreigners such as me.

He was a musician, and good, and his photography was excellent. Highly educated, he visited every corner of this great country, into the deepest jungles to help villagers, into the mountains, out to the islands, down the rivers. He went everywhere. His Majesty was a man of the people. He wanted to see with his own eyes, and he did.

Finally his body has worn out. We wish his body had lived to 110 but his body wore out. He spent it working for Thailand. But this is not the end. Only his body is gone. His Majesty is more alive now than ever before.

Strangely perhaps, since I only knew of him from a smattering of press accounts, I too am moved to tears by the death of this man and monarch. May he rest in peace.

2 Responses to “Michael Yon on the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol”

  1. Zen Says:

    One of my old professors, Clark Neher, had a framed picture of himself with the King of Thailand. A Southeast Asia specialist, the two had met and had become friends. He had many stories including one diplomatic incident when LBJ decided to wrap the King of Thailand in a giant Texas bear hug during an official visit. The King took it about as well as anyone could take Lyndon Johnson but the Thais weren’t too amused.
    While the absolute monarchy is long ended, this King in particular was regarded like a deva rajah by the common people, his very person was sacred, and it gave him immense power that he used sparingly and generally to tamp down excesses. His son is not similarly beloved

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Thanks, Zen. Appreciated.

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