Freedom gained in so many years of colonial powers is a liberating relief and one which a nation stands proud among the free and the nations which stood firmly on it and thus, independence is berth on the solid ground of a national psyche. This is what happened to Cambodia when in 1953, having granted independence by France built an eternal Independence Monument in 1958 located in Phnom Penh.
Honoring the Khmer who died in its fight for freedom, the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh plays a crucial point in its tumultuous past and even in the present. Built in the proud Angkorian style, it is constructed in five levels where naga creatures, the snake-god who perpetually protects the Kingdom from the perils of tyranny.
When I arrived in Phnom Penh, I went directly to see this monument since in the past; I have seen this monument every time I watch the news on CNN. I am proud to observe that such edifice have enshrined in the modern-day Cambodia the love for freedom and liberty.
Built to resemble a lotus stupa, the Vimean Ekareach or the Independence Monument of Phnom Penh stands in the corner of Sihanouk Boulevard and Norodom Boulevard and this was designed by Cambodia’s pride and foremost artist, Vann Molyvann who also built the State Palace, the Council of Ministers building, the National Sports Complex and others.
It is in this Independence Monument that national celebrations are usually held and an eternal flame placed at the center pedestal of the stupa is where Royals provided inspiration and symbolism for all Cambodians.