HÀ NỘI -- US veteran Roy Mike Boehm arrived in Việt Nam to the booming of gunfire but now he has returned to the sound of music.
A photo of him playing the violin at Sơn Mỹ Remnants Monument in the central province of Quảng Ngãi to pray for people massacred in 1968 is on display at an exhibition that opened yesterday in Hà Nội.
The photo of US veteran Roy Mike Boehm playing the violin in Quảng Ngãi is on display at the exhibition.
With the title "Diary of Peace", the exhibition showcases the heroic struggles of the Vietnamese people during the second Indochina war (1954-75). Apart from historical events, the exhibition highlights the support of people from around the world in the fight against the American war in Việt Nam.
During the war and after, they acted for peace and development in the country, healing the scars of the war and calling for world peace.
The exhibition showcases the heroic struggles of the Vietnamese people during the war (1954-75) and support from people around the world for Việt Nam. VNS Photo Minh Thu
“The war ended in our country but our friends from different countries still contribute to extend the bridge of peace,” said Phạm Hoàng My, an officer at Hỏa Lò Prison where the exhibition takes place.
Veterans from Việt Nam and the US attended the opening ceremony and shared their memories of the war. Now they have become friends.
“For the past 26 years I have retuned here every year just pray to ease the pain on this land,” Boehm said.
“It was just like words of repentance, regrets and hope for forgiveness and a better life. I wish to have good health to continue calling on people around the world to come here to heal the wounds left after the war,” he said.
The exhibition shows various documents, photos, objects and newspapers showing the anti-war movements around the world as well as the aid offered to Vietnamese people during the war.
Visitors can see how people from France, the US, Japan, North Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Venezuela and Cuba marched in demonstrations in support for Vietnamese revolution. The banners say “let’s leave Vietnam”, “Stop the meaningless war”, “My son died in vain, don’t fight anymore”.
A space with banners and images capturing anti-war movements around the world moved many visitors, including US veteran Robert Chenoweth.
“I can imagine the atmosphere of the movements, how the people of Việt Nam and the US desired peace,” he said.
“Many prisons were burnt, thousands of people refused to join the war in Việt Nam, and intellectuals, celebrities and common people joined protests and anti-war marches. The movements were unprecedented in American history and contributed to stopping the war in Việt Nam.”
Chenoweth said he was happy to attend the exhibition as it told people about the history, the value of peace and how strongly people from all over supported Việt Nam. He also brought his son to show him how he experienced Việt Nam during the war.
“Việt Nam still needs support because the country is developing, and the consequences of war are still there,” he said. “The world is still complicated as some people believe they can wage war to get what they want, so I think the message of peace needs to be expanded.”
The exhibition will run until the end of July at the Hỏa Lò Prison, 1 Hỏa Lò Street, Hà Nội. VNS