|The US Guard team carry a coffin containing the remains believed to be those of a US service member missing from the Việt Nam War. — VNS Photo Công Thành|
ĐÀ NẴNG — The Vietnamese Government transferred three sets of remains believed to be those of missing US service members from the Việt Nam War at a repatriation ceremony at Đà Nẵng International Airport yesterday.
The repatriation ceremony, which was held by the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) and the US Defence POW/MIA (Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA), also marked the 30th anniversary of US-Việt Nam co-operation on this humanitarian issue.
The remains will be examined in DPAA’s laboratory in Hawaii.
The remains were recovered during the 133rd Joint Field Activity (JFA) in Việt Nam. Seventy-six Americans and over two hundred of their Vietnamese partners worked together on sites in the provinces of Nghệ An, Quảng Bình and Thừa Thiên-Huế provinces.
Rear Admiral Jon C. Kreitz of the US Navy and deputy director of the DPAA said this repatriation marked the 133rd Joint Field Activity of the US in conjunction with the Vietnamese Government.
He said it was a symbol of the amazing co-operation and friendship developed over the past 30 years between the US and Việt Nam.
US Ambassador to Việt Nam Daniel Kritenbrink said it was the first time he had participated in a repatriation ceremony in Việt Nam, and the POW/MIA issue had been a fundamental factor in the partnership between the US and Việt Nam.
He said both countries looked forward to a prosperous partnership involving security, economics and other interests.
Since 2000, the US has worked with Việt Nam to resolve humanitarian and wartime legacy issues. These include the removal of unexploded ordnance, the identification of remains of missing personnel, and the remediation of dioxin.
Colonel Nguyễn Hữu Lương from the VNOSMP said the co-operation beween the US and Việt Nam helped ease the pain of war on both sides.
He said the US also helped provide information on about 1,000 missing Vietnamese, while offering support to clean up dioxin, landmines and UXOs. — VNS