Vietnam hands over American soldier's remains

By Vu Anh   July 9, 2021 | 06:07 pm GMT+7
Vietnam hands over American soldier's remains
A set of an American soldier's remains is prepared to be flown home at Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi, July 9, 2021. Photo by the U.S. Consulate General in HCMC.
Vietnam has returned a set of remains believed to belong to an American soldier who died in the Vietnam War.

The Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) organized a handover ceremony at the Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi Friday.

This was the first repatriation ceremony held at Gia Lam Airport since 1973, when over 500 American POWs were flown home during Operation Homecoming following the end of hostilities between the United States and Vietnam.

Among those participating in the ceremony were the Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi Christopher Klein, and representatives from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, an agency within the U.S. Department of Defense whose mission is to recover U.S. military personnel listed as prisoners of war, or missing in action from designated past conflicts from countries around the world, and the U.S. MIA (missing-in-action) Office in Hanoi.

The set of remains was found by a Vietnam-U.S. joint search team between April and July.

The remains were examined by forensic experts in Hanoi, who concluded that they might be associated with U.S. soldiers missing during the war in Vietnam and recommended that they should be taken to the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency's laboratory in Hawaii for further verification.

VNOSMP director Le Chi Dung said at the ceremony that he highly appreciated the support of the U.S. in overcoming the consequences of war and reaffirmed the commitment of the Vietnamese government to continue humanitarian cooperation.

Chargé d'Affaires Klein thanked Vietnam for its long-term commitment to MIA-related activities and appreciated the cooperation between the two sides in ensuring that the search for missing people in Vietnam is not interrupted by the pandemic.

The search for missing U.S. soldiers' remains from the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975, has been an ongoing humanitarian activity that Vietnam has engaged in since 1988.

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