The Hanoitimes - This is the historic visit paid by an US ambassador to the cemetery of Vietnamese soldiers killed in the Vietnam War.
he US Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink on August 27 paid a historic visit to Truong Son National Cemetery, in Vietnam’s central province of Quang Tri, where more than 10,000 fallen Vietnamese soldiers are laid to rest.
The American ambassador who was joined by Deputy Chairman of Quang Tri People’s Committee Hoang Nam took a cemetery visit for half an hour with gestures and ritual paid to the deceased, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
The US Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink in Truong Son National Cemetery on August 27. Photo: The US Embassy in Hanoi
Ambassador Kritenbrink and Hoang Nam made a bell-tolling ritual then the ambassador and a delegation of US diplomats dedicated a minute of silence as a gesture of respect for the fallen soldiers, before offering incense to their graves.
The ambassador and Quang Tri's deputy chairman made a bell-tolling ritual. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The ambassador then visited Hien Luong Bridge, which crosses the Ben Hai River in Quang Tri. The bridge is located on the 17th Parallel, a provisional military demarcation line between the two parts of Vietnam established by the Geneva Accords in 1954. The demarcation line has been removed following the country’s reunification in 1975.
The delegation shows gestures respecting the fallen soldiers. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The American ambassador told the Tuoi Tre newspaper that through this visit, he hopes to send the message that Vietnam and the US have healed the wounds of war through joint cooperation in settling post-war consequences.
This result has not only improved the lives of the people of Quang Tri but also bridged the distance between the two peoples and governments, he said.
The ambassador and Quang Tri's deputy chairman at Hien Luong Bridge. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The visit was also meant to pay his respects to the people who gave their lives for the love for their country, Ambassador Kritenbrink said.
Quang Tri’s Deputy Chairman Hoang Nam said this meaningful gesture offers closure of the past as our two countries look forward to a future of cooperation. In addition, the ambassador’s historic visit embodies respect for the truth, Nam added.
Ambassador Kritenbrink said he fully supports Quang Tri’s idea of hosting a festival of peace to rebrand itself as a symbol of peace instead of a reminder of war.
The ambassador promised to join the festival if it gets hosted.
Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink, who took office in November 2017, is the eighth US ambassador to Vietnam since the diplomatic normalization in 1995.
Quang Tri was the site of multiple key battles and was one of the most intensively bombed areas during the Vietnam War.