HANOI, February 6, 2024 – On February 3, 2024 on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, Ambassador Marc Knapper traveled to Thuong Tin District in Hanoi and personally delivered the diary of Vietnamese veteran Mr. Vũ Đắc Tức. Mr. Tức’s diary was captured on the battlefield in Thừa Thiên Huế province in 1967 by U.S. Marine Corps forces.
Mr. Tức received his diary alongside his family at his home on the eve of the Tết holiday. Ambassador Knapper also delivered a letter signed by President Biden thanking Mr. Tức for his efforts to attend an artifact exchange at the National Assembly during President Biden’s visit to Hanoi in September 2023. During the September ceremony, Mr. Tuc’s fellow veteran, Mr. Nguyễn Văn Thiện, received his own personal diary that was lost over 50 years ago during the war.
The diaries of Mr. Tức and Mr. Thiện were discovered under the Department of Defense (DoD) program that supports the Vietnam Ministry of National Defense and National Steering Committee (NSC) 515 to locate, gather, and identify the remains of fallen soldiers. In partnership with DoD, Harvard University’s Ash Center research team identified the diaries while conducting archival case research in support of NSC 515.
DoD’s assistance to Vietnam’s wartime accounting efforts falls under the longstanding bilateral efforts to address the legacies of war. This program seeks to reciprocate decades of support by the Government of Vietnam to the U.S. MIA accounting mission and to help bring closure to the families of those still missing.
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