"A human cannot exist without a culture." I recently heard in an offhanded comment from an unidentified, young girl in a National Geographic documentary. It was a very subtle yet extremely poignant and powerful concept. It is something we tend to take for granted in the fast paced, culturally homogenized, West and elusive as mass media blurs the lines between the nuances of the world community. However, culture is a fragile thing and without careful attention it can, and does, disappear only to live on in memory. Just over a year ago, among the corn fields and sterile housing tracts of central Ohio, I stumbled into a vibrant community of Lao refugees from the aftermath of the American war in Vietnam and the rise of the Pathet Lao regime. As the first generation grows older and passes on, their proud heritage and traditions are slowly dying with them as the second generation grows up among their mid-western peers as Americans. Over the course of the past year I came to realize this as an unexpected consequence of war and the refugee experience. Culture can become the final and most silent casualty of past conflict.