Speaker Shares Story of Surviving Cambodian Concentration Camp - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Speaker Shares Story of Surviving Cambodian Concentration Camp

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Hundreds listened to the inspirational story of survival from Wednesday's Yakima Town Hall speaker, Arn Chorn Pond. Hundreds listened to the inspirational story of survival from Wednesday's Yakima Town Hall speaker, Arn Chorn Pond.

YAKIMA, WA - Hundreds listened to the inspirational story of survival from Wednesday's Yakima Town Hall speaker, Arn Chorn Pond. 

Pond grew up in Cambodia and was forced to live in a Khmer Rouge concentration camp at the age of six. He survived the camp by playing his flute for the camp's leaders but was forced to do many horrific acts in the process. He also became a child soldier in the Cambodian Vietnamese War. 

Pond escaped and was adopted by a reverend who brought him to America. He hopes the story of his life can help other people love one another and spread the message of hope.

"I lost members of my family, I lost my country and I lost almost everything," Pond said. "Imagine that. Your life, you walk around with almost no history, with a hole inside of you. I found that playing music heals me quite a bit in addition to sharing my story."

Pond's experiences have inspired him to work with gang members in New Hampshire and run a foundation to restore traditional Cambodian music lost during the war. 

If you want to read more about Pond's story, you can pick up the book "Never Fall Down" by Patricia McCormick.

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