Delegates at the event

The handover ceremony was co-chaired by Lieutenant General James Jarrard, Deputy Commanding General for the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC), and U.S. Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Susan Burns.

Lieutenant General James Jarrard used to command the U.S.’s 25th Infantry Division on Cu Chi battlefield over 50 years ago.

Four collections of the war keepsakes

The war keepsakes including personnel diaries, letters, ID cards, and notebooks were kept by U.S. troops since the war in Vietnam. Since the original artifacts were damaged, the U.S. side compiled and reprinted them into four collections of war memorabilia whose owners were martyrs Truong Thi Oanh, Lam Van Phan, Le Van Cho and Nguyen Minh Tam (also known as Nguyen Van Khuon).

The handover of the war keepsakes were supported by a research team at Harvard University, within the framework of the Vietnam Wartime Accounting Initiative (VWAI), and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Dr. Tran Van Ban (third from right) representing Vietnamese veterans who fought in Cu Chi Tunnel areas receive the keepsakes.
Handing over war memorabilia to the family of Truong Van Quo, relatives of fallen soldier Truong Thi Oanh
The relative of fallen soldier Lam Van Phan receive Phan’s keepsakes.

Receiving the war memorabilia of his fallen sister Truong Thi Oanh after over half of a century, Truong Van Quo said that he was moved and happy. He said that he was small when his sister joined the revolution. Though his memories of her are not many, they are always a source of pride for him after the liberation of the South and the national reunification. His parents rarely talked about her as a way to keep the sister and her family safe.

Vietnamese and U.S. delegates in a group photo

The war memorabilia handover demonstrated the commitment of the U.S. diplomatic corps. to Vietnam to resolving the legacies of war through reconciliation and healing the wounds of war, promoting friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and the U.S.

On May 10, U.S. Embassy in Hanoi handed over 11 sets of war keepsakes to Vietnamese veterans and relatives of Vietnamese fallen troops in Hanoi.

Translated by Mai Huong