Young surgeon's wartime diaries help reconcile US, Viet Nam, says AP

The Associated Press (AP) on April 2 carried an article saying that the poignant wartime diaries of a Vietnamese military surgeon, named Dang Thuy Tram, have reconciled the US and Viet Nam after a US intelligence officer saved them from being burned.

Their publication has also become a sensation in Viet Nam, opening the floodgates of memories in a nation to take a new view of the conflict.

Frederick Whitehurst, the former officer who retrieved the diaries from Tram's gutted field hospital and decided at his translator's urging not to burn them, was quoted by the AP as saying that Tram is more than a war hero.

People will read her words as they read the words of Anne Frank, Whitehurst said.

According to the AP, the diaries were written in tiny notebooks hand-crafted from medical supply packaging, and languished for more than three decades in Whitehurst's file cabinet after attempts to find Tram's family failed. But last year, Whitehurst, aided by his brother Robert, also a Vietnam veteran, donated them to the Vietnam Archives at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
Vietnam News Agency