"Vietnam-US: New Journey"

                                         The ambassador Ted Osius at the Hien Luong bridge

US Ambassador: “We should be honest with the past”. This is the statement of the US Ambassador to Vietnam, Ted Osius, when he visited the Hien Luong birdge that was the divider between two half of the country.
The ambassador said that Quang Tri province is an important place of Vietnam and the US. In recent time, the US had promoted the relationship with the province, healing the pain of the war by removing the unexploded ordnance here. The ambassador believes that, by 2020, Quang Tri would be not affected by the mine. This is a model of cooperation between two government of Vietnam and the US.
“Today, at the historic Hien Luong Bridge in Quang Tri province, I stood where I was in 1996 after President Clinton normalized relations and set in motion "a time to heal and a time to build." At that time, I was on an even longer bike ride...from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. While there, I met an older woman who explained to me in Vietnamese that what appeared to be ponds dotting the landscape where actually what remained of the bombs that had been dropped...including on her village. Then, she added using the familial terms that make Vietnamese such an intimate language "Hom nay, Chúng ta là anh chị em." (Today, we all are brothers and sisters). When we are honest about the past, we can turn this symbolic bridge into the the path that leads to a better future together.”
 “The conversation demonstrated two important things. First, Vietnamese people remember the past, but want a better future. Second, they want a new relationship that is better for American to be their friends.”
The ambassador also reaffirmed that: “In my opinion, if we want a good future, we should be honest with the past. The US has to commit its crime. And I’m here today with a lot of feelings and honest with the past. I think we should build a better future for us and next generations.”
“In my cycling tour, I had met many Vietnamese who had made me remembered to protect the environment, people who have worked to bring a better education for young Vietnamese people. Considering the rising cooperation and relationship, I realize that is right. Today, we are brothers and sister. I really want in the next 20 years, the relationship between Vietnam an the US will achieve more than things that we expected,” the ambassador shared his thought.
US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius on January 30 arrived in the central province of Thua Thien - Hue concluding an 8-day cycle tour that departed from Hanoi to promote educational exchange and environment protection awareness.
The 840km bicycle trip “US – Vietnam: A New Journey” aimed to underscore the importance of economic growth, health care and cultural heritages, educational exchange and environmental protection to mark a new period of bilateral ties.

The ambassador said he and his entourage were warmly welcomed by very hospitable residents.
Since departing Hanoi on January 24, he has stopped by Cuc Phuong national park in Ninh Binh, Lam Kinh temple in Thanh Hoa, an orphaned children’s centre in Ha Tinh, Phong Nha caves in Quang Binh and Hien Luong bridge in Quang Tri./.

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