Trees Planted on Former Battleground

The central province of Quang Tri, in co-operation with PeaceTrees Vietnam (PTVN), has planted trees on the river banks of Ben Hai in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations as part of PeaceTrees Vietnam’s unexploded ordnance (UXO)-mission in the province. The river bank, on the 17th parallel, was a border of north and south Viet Nam during the war. The tree planting activity aimed to boost the U.S.-Vietnam friendship and promise a blossoming future. Major Charles Casey, the U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Attaché to the U.S. Embassy to Vietnam said: “The U.S.-Vietnam relationship is stronger than ever, and it gets even stronger every day. We have a true comprehensive partnership that spans the entire spectrum: from healthcare to defence; from trade to people-to-people ties. "The story of PeaceTrees in Quang Tri – transforming tragedy into peace, partnership, and opportunity – has transcended into the story of the US and Vietnam. “It is truly remarkable that in one of the most UXO-contaminated places in the entire world, Quang Tri did not suffer a single accident over the last two years. Not a single man, woman, child, or baby was the victim of a UXO-related injury in this province since 2017.” He added: "The U.S. remains committed to continuing these efforts with Viet Nam, and to building a safer and more peaceful world for the next generations to come. And it's not about dwelling on the past; it’s about building a better world for our children.” Pham Thi Hoang Ha from PTVN said: “Since 1995, PTVN has decontaminated about 48,000 hectares and handled nearly 118,000 explosives, as well as planted 44,000 trees on safe land.” “Its emergency and long-term medical assistance to landmine survivors has contributed to the population’s health, while providing effective support to areas with inadequate public and private healthcare services. "It has granted 2,300 scholarships for UXO survivors and livelihood support programmes for their families have helped minimise the aftermath on local socio-economic development as well as building 16 schools and 12 libraries for children and families accessing education.” These schools will be built on land which has been cleared of UXO, Ha said. The PTVN’s Danaan Parry Landmines Education Centre in Dong Ha City has provided landmine awareness education to more than 138,000 people in the province, 17,500 of them children. (Vietnam News)