Vietnam pays tribute to US anti-war activist

By VNA   February 29, 2024 | 05:17 am PT
Vietnam pays tribute to US anti-war activist
Merle Ratner (L) is at a demonstration opposing Agent Orange in the U.S. Photo courtesy of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations
Vietnam's top diplomats attended a ceremony held in New York on Feb. 28 (local time) to commemorate Merle Everlyn Ratner, a left-wing activist and a faithful American friend of Vietnam.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. Nguyen Quoc Dung and Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, were among about 200 people participating in the ceremony in person and online, including advocacy groups supporting victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam and Vietnamese people in the U.S.

Ratner, who actively participated in protests against the U.S. war in Vietnam since the late 1960s, the anti-imperialism movement in the 1970s and 1980s, and anti-racism campaigns in America today, passed away in a traffic accident in New York on Feb. 5 evening.

Participants in the ceremony recalled memories of Ratner and reviewed the life, career and contributions that she made to the struggle for peace, social equality and the rights of workers in the U.S. and many other countries, especially her love and dedication to the country and people of Vietnam.

Dung expressed condolences for the passing of Ratner. He affirmed that the country and people of Vietnam always remember and appreciate her warm sentiments and contributions to the struggle for national liberation, national unification and the development and integration of Vietnam, as well as the efforts to find justice for Agent Orange victims. The ambassador emphasized that the thoughts and activities as well as dedications of Ratner have become a valuable legacy, a source of inspiration and encouragement for her friends and comrades.

Giang said that Ratner's passing is a great loss to not only Vietnam and the Vietnam-U.S. relations but also to peace lovers and left-wing and progressive people in the U.S. The greatest legacy that Ratner left behind is the spirit of optimism, belief in the victory of peace and justice as well as the bright future of Vietnam and of working people around the world.

Born in 1956 in New York City, Ratner had a special love for Vietnam. She took to the streets to protest against the Vietnam War when she was 13 years old and became famous for hanging anti-war slogans on the Statue of Liberty.

She was a co-founder and coordinator of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign in the New York area.

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