Friday, August 17 2018


Agent Orange victim inspires peace song

Update: August, 07/2012 - 09:46


Message of peace: Nguyen Duc (centre, front row) and singer Nguyen Phi Hung (centre, back row) are featured in the music video for the song For a Brighter World.
HCM CITY — The story of Agent Orange victim Nguyen Duc has inspired Japanese high school teacher Toshiaki Uchimoto to compose a song about peace.

Entitled "For a Brighter World", the song was written last September, after Uchimoto's emotional visit to Viet Nam, during which he witnessed many of the consequences of the American War, especially awful impact of Agent Orange/dioxin.

Uchimoto had chance to meet Duc, who is a half of a conjoined twin successfully separated by Vietnamese doctors during a 15-hour operation at Viet Duc Hospital in Ha Noi 24 years ago. Duc was much luckier than his twin bother, Nguyen Viet, who lived in a vegetative state until he died in 2007.

Surviving one of the most famous operations in Vietnamese history, which gathered a team of 70 doctors and nurses, Duc has overcome many difficulties to integrate into the community.

After meeting Duc, Uchimoto decided to create a message of peace, and the song "For a Brighter World" was born. He then spread the song within his school, which Duc visited several times to share his life experiences with Uchimoto's students.

"I was extremely moved and dumbstruck when I listened to the song during a dinner in Japan," said Duc, who learned to speak Japanese in his teens. "He sympathises with us, with all the pain that [Agent Orange victims] have to suffer."

Wanting Vietnamese people to understand the song, Duc asked singer Nguyen Phi Hung to write Vietnamese lyrics for it. Hung then recorded the song and produced a music video for it."We decided to produce the music video with truthful and vivid images, expecting anyone watching would be able to understand the message of peace in the song," Hung said.

Duc sought volunteers, including other Agent Orange victims, to act in the video. Uchimoto and Japanese singer Yoshie Ruth Linton, who presented the original Japanese version, also joined Duc and Hung in shooting the video.

After the launch of Vietnamese version of the song last month, Duc said his Agent Orange foundation received more spiritual and material support. All of the donations received on August 4 were given to the Thien Duyen House in HCM City's Cu Chi District, which is home to hundreds of children of Agent Orange victims.

Duc will travel back to Japan this week in the role of Viet Nam's Peace Ambassador as a part of an exchange programme to support Agent Orange Day on August 10.

Duc now works as an IT expert at the foreign affairs office of the Hoa Binh (Peace) Village, which is operated by HCM City's Tu Du Hospital. He also participates in numerous charities and canvasses supporting for victims not as fortunate as he has been.

Duc married in 2006. His wife was born without disabilities and they now have a pair of three-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, who were born without congenital anomalies. — VNS

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