A Convocation To Peace on the 30th Anniversary of the Viet-Nam Tragedy sign now


To U.S. Citizens, Veterans of the Viet-Nam War, the governments of Viet-Nam and America and all the people in the world wishing to give voice to the Vietnamese people who long for a fair and just Viet-Nam.


As free citizens of the world, many of us were once children of the killing fields in Viet-Nam -- Cambodia and elsewhere in Indochina which was called Hell In a Very Small Place (1) we wish to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to all who gave their greatest sacrifice to the Vietnamese cause of human dignity and equality, to all those who gave solace and refuge to our huddled mass yearning to breathe free in the last thirty years. Together we invoke and commemorate the spirits of all those who have laid down their lives in that conflagration that ended on April 30th , 1975.

Notwithstanding our acquiring status as citizens of free civil societies around the world, notwithstanding our differing civil liberties and civil rights as citizens of Viet-Nam, notwithstanding the fact that we were on opposing sides during the last conflict, notwithstanding our status as victims or transgressors, today all of us wish to join hands for a cause greater than ourselves, in the earnest and sincerest hope to work together for a better and more just Viet-Nam of tomorrow.

For the sake of our children and history, we may forgive but not forget past deeds. And to ensure those millions who gave their lives, that their deaths shall not be in vain, we have the responsibility to not deny any truth nor accept any falsehood just to mend the expedience of peaceful evolution.

We maybe Americans, we maybe Vietnamese, we maybe of any races with diverse cultures, beliefs and values systems, but we all share in the fairness and goodness of humankind. With our undying faith in the human spirit, we pledge to free ourselves from the bonds of prejudices, greed, hatred and the injustice that hold us back. We seek to reclaim the historical truth, our peoples dignity and courage.

Yet until all responsible parties in the Viet-Nam War realize the gravity of their actions -- past and present and the seriousness of all our childrens future and attempt some soul-searching of their own, our mutual efforts in helping to breakthrough will mean little.

In the spirit of openness and cooperation, let us pledge to tell and search for the whole truth. Let us expiate our misdeeds, let us go forward with lighter conscience, let us ensure that our future generations may never again commit million of lives to war, let us not commiserate our own cowardly inaction, omission and cover ups. Let us by degree of our ranks and stature be gracious in our own atonement so that our children can lift up their faces when looking at us. Let them have their own voices, let them lead. But if we must cling to power, let it be transparency and good governance.

Let our people again have their turn under the sun. Let the people of Viet-Nam, America and the world build a better tomorrow. Let us thank everyone for believing in our cause -- however incipient and imperfect a half century ago -- that it had started with nationalism and nationhood and ended in communism. Let it come full circle. Let us start anew in the search for our soul in the 21st century.

Vietnamese, Americans and people everywhere, can we work together to rebuild broken lives in this fragile global village?

In sister and brotherhood,
(1) Title of a book by Bernard Fall

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