Vietnam, US commemorate personnel engaging in MIA search died in 2001 helicopter crash
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|The helicopter accident memorial in Quang Binh province, Vietnam.|
Nine Vietnamese and seven American officials were lost when an Mi-7 helicopter crashed into a mountain in a mountainous area in Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province. The combined team was scouting sites that might contain the remains of missing and unaccounted-for US personnel.
Addressing the event, Le Chi Dung, head of the Department of American Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Director of VNOSMP highlighted that the Vietnamese martyrs’ sacrifice showed the traditional tolerance and humanity of the Vietnamese people.
It contributed to the development of the friendship between the two nations as well as bilateral partnership in surmounting bomb and mine consequences left from war in Vietnam, he said.
Dung also underlined the need to ensure utmost security and safety for all personnel engaging in the search for MIAs of both sides.
For his part, US Defense Attaché in Vietnam Thomas Stevenson showed his respect for Vietnamese martyrs and US soldiers who died in the accident, and extended his sympathy to families of the victims.
He commented that cooperation in MIA searching between Vietnam and the US have been implemented in a safe and effective manner, with new progresses.
He thanked the Vietnamese Government and people for their good will and humanitarian policy in seeking American MIAs.
The seeking of the remains of US servicemen missing during the war in Vietnam is humanitarian cooperation between the Vietnamese and US Governments.
|The repatriation ceremony of remains of US servicemen in Hanoi, July 2020. This is the 153rd hand-over of American missing servicemen’s remains since 1973. Photo: qdnd.vn|
A similar ceremony also was held in in the US on April 7 under the host of Kelly McKeague, the director of the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and several American and Vietnamese officials including Vietnam's Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc said the partnership with the US to locate and recover the remains of US service members has done much to bridge the distrust the two nations. "The way to build the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership from a bitter past – working together to address war legacies – has helped build trust between the two nations," the ambassador said. "Among other efforts, both countries have tried to make the fullest possible accounting for US servicemen and Vietnamese soldiers. After all, we cannot have achieved tangible results without the determination by both sides to leave the past behind and look forward to the future."
The Americans killed were Army Lt. Col. Rennie M. Cory, Jr.; Army Lt. Col. George D. Martin III, Air Force Maj. Charles E. Lewis, Army Sgt. 1st Class Tommy J. Murphy, Air Force MSgt. Steven L. Moser, TSgt. Robert M. Flynn and Navy Chief Petty Officer Pedro J. Gonzalez.
The Vietnamese killed were: Nguyen Than Ha, Senior Colonel Tran Van Bien, Lt. Col. Nguyen Van Ha, Lt. Col. Nguyen Thanh Son, Maj. Nguyen Huu Nham, Maj. Vu Pham the Kien, Lt. Giap Thanh Ngan, Lt. Pham Duy Dung and Lt. Dang Ngoc./.
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The highlight of the ceremony was a ballet based on Vietnam’s 18th century poetic masterpiece ‘Tale of Kieu’ by celebrated poet Nguyen Du.