Thursday, October 13, 2016

Farewell, King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Thailand King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Portrait of the King taken in 1946

It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to his majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX, the 9th monarch of the Thai Chakri Dynasty) on this day, October 13, 2016 at 15:52pm.

After living in Thailand this year, I am shocked and saddened by the news of the King's passing.  I felt like he became a part of my life for that short amount of time I lived in Nakhon Pathom and like someone I knew just passed.

King Bhumibol is very much a part of every Thai person's daily life and has been for more than 70 years of his reign.  Everyone will be wearing black for 30 days and the country will be in mourning for a year.

Jazz Jam Session with Benny Goodman in 1960 (courtsey of Popperfoto Getty Image)
I know this is a huge loss for Thais and the country as a whole, but as a person that was lucky enough to  live in his beautiful country, I do feel the loss upon hearing about his passing even if I'm in a different country the this moment.

Many have a place in their home or work space dedicated to the King and he is greeted, honored and revered like a deity.  Whether you hear his anthem over speakers, see images of him and his family throughout the town and cities or even watching a movie and standing to honor him, King Bhumibol is loved and will be greatly missed.

Thailand King Bhumibol Adulyadej
18 November 2012: US President Barack Obama, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ambassador Kristie Kenney, meets with King Bhumibol Adulyadej of the Kingdom of Thailand, at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok courtesy of:Official White House Photo by Pete Souza