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AGENT ORANGE/DIOXIN
A Call to Action on Orange Day
Posted: Jul 26,2010

Five decades ago, on August 10, 1961, U.S. forces conducted the first spraying mission of so-called "herbicides" or "defoliants," beginning the chemical warfare which lasted for almost 10 years (1961-71). The use of Agent Orange brought about untold human death and suffering, as well as environmental destruction to South Vietnam and surrounding areas. Consequently, this date has become an annual commemoration - the "Day for Victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam" (or "Orange Day") to remind all of us about a major disaster for humanity

With about 80 million liters of toxic herbicides, mostly Agent Orange, containing high concentrations of dioxin, the most powerful toxin ever known, this "chemical warfare" was sprayed on  at least 4.8 million Vietnamese and poisoned three million of them. Out of this population, many have died or are dying, many who survive, especially children born with severe deformities, suffer a fate even worse than death.


A year has gone by from August 10, 2009 to August 10, 2010, the world has changed, human civilization has made a new step, the understanding of the toxicity of Agent Orange has reached a new depth, interactive relationships among countries and peoples have become more widespread, the aspiration of people to live together peacefully is more and more urgent and of course the struggle for justice of victims of Agent Orange the world over has intensified.


Yet, justice and truly meaningful fairness for Vietnamese victims still remain mainly an aspiration. Despite all efforts by the government and people of Vietnam, supported by the contributions of progressive humanity, the life of Vietnam’s Agent Orange victims is still extremely wretched.  Many of them face ever worsening severe illnesses or discover new diseases, many others can no longer work to earn their own living and support their families, and many children with birth defects are suffering and getting nearer to death.


On the occasion of August 10, 2010, as the organization representing the victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam, we hereby call upon:


All Agent Orange victims in all countries, especially U.S. veterans, all victims of acts of war and genocide to build closer solidarity with us in the struggle for their justice and justified interests.


All individuals, non-governmental organizations and governments all over the world to do their best to support the victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam, both materially and spiritually.


We all so call upon the U.S. Congress and government to realize that it is a good time for them and for all people to clearly recognize their responsibility for the consequences of the past chemical warfare, in order  that the peoples of both our nations strengthen friendship imbued in peace and development.


On behalf of 3 million victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam, we would like to send you our greetings and many thanks for whatever help you have extended in the recent years.


This pain is not ours alone, it hurts everyone!  
 

 

The Central Board of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin

 

Nguyen Van Rinh,

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"... From the beginning of the first century A.D., when the two Trung Sisters rose up to fight the enemy and save the nation, until now, whenever our country has faced danger, our women have contributed whatever they could toward the cause of national liberation.

Our people are grateful that our mothers from South and North alike have borne and raised our nation's generation of heroes....

Under the Socialist system, tens of thousands of women have become specialists in different fields and, as cadre, serve as directors and vice-directors of factories, leaders of farming cooperatives, presidents of People’s Committees, and general secretaries of Party Cells....

And so, the women of Vietnam from ancient times until now, from South to North, from young to old, are truly heroes ..."

(Excerpted from President Ho Chi Minh's speech on the 36th Anniversary of Vietnam Women's Union 20 October 1966)

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