October 13, 2016 – We have learned of the passing of King Bhumibol the Great, the ninth monarch of Thailand from the Chaki Dynasty. Bhumibol Adulyadej was the longest serving monarch in the world, having ascended to the throne 70 years ago. Regarded as the father of modern Thailand and called Rama XI, he promoted agriculture and technology development helping propel his people toward self-sufficiency. King Bhumibol was beloved by his subjects and will be officially mourned for one year.
It is impossible to overstate the reverence and love the Thai people have for their King. Many mourners say they loved the King because he loved them. His photo is prominently displayed in practically every Thai shop, home and business, and movie goers stand in his honor when a short tribute and anthem is played at the cinema.
It has been and will be a great education for our family as we experience both a people’s reverence for a public figure, and now mourn with those who mourn – not just our small number of Thai friends, but with an entire nation.
Memorials honoring the King have been erected nearly overnight and the Thai people will be wearing black for the next 30 days.