It is my strong belief that the continued harm and injury caused by bombs dropped nearly four decades ago is morally unacceptable.
I fully support an increase in U.S. funding to at least $10 million per year for the next ten years to clear contaminated land and provide assistance to victims and affected communities in Laos. It is never too late to do the right thing.
- 3106. David Swartz, Wilmore, KY
- 3105. Josephine Nuntida Saly, Fresno, CA
- 3104. Joan Fumetti, Windsor Heights, IA
“I didn't know. This breaks my heart.”
- 3103. Kiara Henry, Powder Springs, GA
- 3102. Patricia Carroll, Malvern, PA
- 3101. Phonethip Inthaphone, Philadelphia, PA
- 3100. Mark, CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI
- 3099. [Private], Kennesaw, GA
- 3098. [Private], Marietta, GA
“My mother and her family fled from Laos when she was very young, during the commnist take over, to came to live in the United States. I've always wanted to go back to my home country, but I'm scared because it is still communist and there are bombs everywhere. Please help my country”
- 3097. [Private], Hope Mills, NC
- 3096. Navila N Silivan, Endicott, NY
- 3095. Pany Simpraseuth, San Francisco, CA
“This saddens me to know that men and women who are born healthy lose their limbs/ lives because of the bombings that happened more than four decades ago.”
- 3094. [Private], Harrisburg, PA
“I was born in Laos in 1962 and adopted in 1964. My American father and German mother and siblings brought me over to the United States to live. I traveled to Laos on my 50th birthday to visit the country of my birth with my sister Caroline. We visited MAG and watched a movie which brought us all to tears.”
- 3093. [Private], Chevy Chase, MD
- 3092. [Private], Seattle, WA
- 3091. Viengsamay Kettavong, San Diego, CA
- 3090. Khamsone Sirimanivong, Phoenix, AZ
- 3089. Rachel Westrick, Grand Rapids, MI
- 3088. Natalia, Montpellier
- 3087. Philip Wardle, Nottingham, England, NM
“NO to bombing.”
- 3086. [Private], Carina Heights
- 3085. [Private], Layton, UT
- 3084. Nara S Sihavong, Clovis, CA
To my Lao-American friends and tagged friends, I share this personal and important post (pls. watch the video) that will touch your heart.
Ignore that the messengers is engaged in the presidential race and you will look at the Unexploded Ordinance (OXU bombs) that are left in Laos with an unbiased heart.
I was asked by a friend to join the UXO cause back in 2004 who went on to create a phenomenal non-profit to educate the world about UXO, but I was simply exhausted after completing our collective mission to get the Normalized Relations (NTR) in Congress between the US and Laos passed. I had a business to run, a young family to take care of and had to take a break from the highly charged but successful NTR campaign mission.
But the UXO issue in Laos remains a major problem in Laos and a legacy that will haunt the US for the next century if not addressed.
Please listen to what is said here by Hillary Clinton who visited Laos and the UXO sites. She understands it now. Congress needs to as well.
And below, sharing my comment to a post for historical purpose. I strongly believe the UXO issue will not achieve long-term solution without the rally, again, by the caring support from the Lao-American community to speak to their Congress members.
It's time to "Right the wrong".
"That was a great post."
What would it take so every Congress member understands the full ramification of UXO on Laos and to agree on a policy that Hillary Clinton just outlined, whether or not she wins the presidency?
As the late honorable Senator Daniel Inouye, who was one of the key US Senators who originated and sponsored the bill in 2003 to normalize relations by the US to Laos (driven by the grass root movement of 15K petition signer from the Lao-American community, supporters at the state, Capitol Hill and many from all over the world) puts it, "As all great countries in the world should do, America as a great country must and will "right the wrong" it has done." The NTR team walked the halls to Capitol Hills, door-by-door for two years, to provide information to Congress members. Senator Max Baucus co-sponsored the Bill, along with Representative Betty McCullom (MN) and Rep. Ed Case (HI).
Their realization was that Laos was never at war with the US, and there was no reason why the US would not have normalized relations with Laos particularly when the US had already normalized relations with Vietnam and Cambodia.
It took the grass-root movement of their constituents, of the local NTR chapter, to visit their local offices as well, to drive home that message.
And with that stern philosophy of "righting the wrong", Senator Inouye understood very well as a WWII Hero and Purple Heart recipient, he threw in hist support and rallied his colleagues to help pass and signed the NTR Bill in December 2004. This bill has undoubtedly paved the way to the very warm relations the US is having with Laos, which to this day is still considered the neutral ground and strategic country in Southeast Asia.
Congress needs to understand, appreciate and rally to put a comprehensive bill and policy for a permanent and perpetual solution by the US to help "right the wrong" with the UXO issue in Laos that is much long over due - 40+ years and leaving 1/3 of Laos contaminated with UXO.
As Hillary Clinton articulated that there has been been many good non-profits and volunteers who have done work to help clear UXO and educate the locals about the dangers. These organizations have done tremendous works like Legacies of War. They need more resources. But at that scale, it will be decades if not centuries, toward achieving the long-term and permanent fix.
A movement is needed. Raising awareness and support among Congress members such as the late US Senator Daniel Inouye, is needed. Champions like former US Ambassador Douglas Hartwick and Lao Ambassador to the US Phantong Phommahaxay are needed.
Hands down, it was the grass-root movement involving the Lao-American community (and the supporting voices of Oversea Lao people), the constituents, whose collective voice convinced their Congress members at home and at Capitol Hill, to listen and act to passing of NTR.
The same action by the Lao-American community is needed to bring long-term solution to the UXO issue in Laos with the help of the US, a great country that given the opportunity will "Right the wrong".
"In memory of US Senator Daniel K. Inouye."
Nara Sihavong - National Coordinator of the US-Lao NTR National Coalition (2003-2004)
— with Mike Hoover and 89 others.”
- 3083. Kat Fitzpatrick, Schenectady, NY
- 3082. [Private], Ocracoke , NC
- 3081. Eric Pace, Mays Landing, NJ
- 3080. Adolfo Covarrubias, Utica, NY
“If I only known sooner....”
- 3079. Chanly Noy Covarrubias, Utica, NY
- 3078. John M. Morgan, Beallsville, OH
- 3077. [Private], Victoria
“While travelling in Laos, I saw the destruction that American bombing has caused in Laos. The continuing casualties are tragic and unjust, and the current rate of bomb removal is much too slow. I urge the US government to do more to ensure the safety of the Lao people.”
- 3076. [Private], Omaha, NE
“Please remove the bombs that were dropped. The war is log over. More innocent lives should not be lost.”
- 3075. [Private], San Mateo, CA
- 3074. Kelly Keenan, Brooklyn, NY
- 3073. Racha Chittaphoumin, Modesto, CA
- 3072. Bobby, Lowell, MA
- 3071. Ezra Brown, Dorchester, MA
- 3070. Sourikhunh Konekeo, Brooklyn, NY
- 3069. [Private], Spokane, WA
“The United States needs to continue to fund the removal of UXO in Laos.”
- 3068. Bruce Waxman, Fairfax, VA
“As a Vietnam veteran, I am very moved by this issue and the work of Legacies of War.”
- 3067. Jana Igunma, London
- 3066. Ellen Becker, Aston, PA
“Since we left the bombs we have the responsibility to safely detonate them so the continued casualties STOP!”
- 3065. Maly Siharath, Santa Ana , CA
- 3064. Casper Phommajack, Sioux Falls, SD
- 3063. [Private], Madison, WI
- 3062. Mike Felker, Philadelphia, PA
“I served as a navy hospital corpsman/medic with the US Marines in Viet Nam 1969-1970”
- 3061. [Private], Albuquerque, NM
- 3060. Kasim Arman Ul-haq, Rochdale
- 3059. Sarah Keomany, Elgin, IL
“My parents' home country. To read that innocent people are dying from these bombs that were never detonated...it's heart wrenching. Laos is a struggling country as it is, the last thing they need are more of these bombs setting off.”
- 3058. Filip Bijedic, Belgrade, Serbia
- 3057. Karen S Greene, Washington, DC
- 3056. Gregory Wagoner, Boston, MA
“We created most of this ongoing tragedy. I've seen the results with my own eyes. We should assist this poor country clean up this danger.”
- 3055. Brad Porteus, Singapore
“The people of Laos deserve this. Let's clear this land and clear our conscious.”
- 3054. Woodson Howe, Annapolis, MD
- 3053. Rebecca Hiscock, Winchester
“I am shocked that a country as rich as American refuses to commit to a total clearance programme. I am British and will be writing to my government to apply pressure on Obama”
- 3052. Greg Mcleod, Portland, OR
- 3051. Kevin Rathsasombath, Houston, TX
- 3050. Samueljen, Fancrest, WV
- 3049. Souvany Jennings, Humble, TX
- 3048. Mary Strasser, Baltimore, MD
- 3047. Frauke Chambers, Cottesloe, WA
“I also think that cluster bombs should be banned everywhere!”
- 3046. Stefanie Hasleton, Thirroul
- 3045. Michael Stanley, Sydney AUSTRALIA
- 3044. [Private], Sun Valley, CA
- 3043. [Private], Seattle, WA
“It is unacceptable for the U.S. to turn a blind eye to a problem it created. As a U.S. citizen, I should be proud of a country creating a legacy of peace, not leaving behind legacies of war and knowingly abandoning the responsibility of solving them.”
- 3042. Tim Coutinho, San Jose, CA
- 3041. Sriphachanh Silasa, Elkhart, IN
- 3040. Prof Premraj Pushpakaran, Boston, MA
- 3039. Elaine Emling, Silver Spring, MA
“Please also increase funding for the COPE center in Vientiane.”
- 3038. Jane Stone, Lexington, KY
- 3037. [Private], Chino Hills , CA
- 3036. Steve Stone, Lexington, KY
“The former actions of the United States are causing the deaths of thousands of Laotians. We can decrease that numer by removing unexploded weapons. Let us exercise our conscience and do the mature and responsible thing. This action if necessary for the health and happiness of children and adults. How can we attone for the massive violence inflicted upon a [peaceful people?”
- 3035. Kim Eng Koo Md, Rocky Mount, NC
“Please increase funding for the COPE Center in Vientiane as well. They supply prostheses to those who had lost limbs due to the accidental setting of of the UXOs.”
- 3034. Croseille Pongparnsana, Phila, PA
- 3033. Kim Koenne, Cape Canaveral, FL
“I believe it is never to late to do the right thing. Let us be responsible.”
- 3032. John Fiddler, Seattle, WA
“This is an American mess and the US should be the ones to clean it up. And I personally think a million a year for 10 years is not enough. We should pay what it takes to fix this problem...which is a fixable problem. Pick up the bombs and they will be gone for good.”
- 3031. Michael W Wentz, Seattle, WA
- 3030. [Private], Vicksburg, MS
- 3029. Alicia Olson, McMinnville, OR
- 3028. Charles Fay, Washington
- 3027. [Private], Oldenburg, DE
- 3026. Sierra, Reno, NV
- 3025. Janelle Kaczmarzewski, Seattle, WA
“We spent so much money every day bombing Laos... we need to make a greater effort in making amends.”
- 3024. Terry Deegan, Clay, NY
“We need to take responsibility. For removing these cluster bombs! Nomorechildren should be injured ans maimed!!!!”
- 3023. Nuyeen, Saint Paul, MN
- 3022. Ken Stec, Cazenovia, NY
“No need for them to suffer from this anymore.”
- 3021. Nick Lombardi, Phnom Penh
- 3020. Kristin Sims, Appleton, ME
“How can we avoid taking responsibility for this and call ourselves a moral people?”
- 3019. Hayley Brooks, Ft. Wright, KY
- 3018. Nancy E. Schneider, Ithaca, NY
“So much suffering all these years after the war ended. The people, and certainly the children, deserve to be safe in their country.”
- 3017. Eva Capobianco, Ithaca, NY
- 3016. Sara Whitlock, Syracuse, NY
- 3015. Cynthia Williams, Jamesville, NY
- 3014. [Private], Elbridge, NY
- 3013. Linda Bogart-greenlar, Syracuse, NY
“View story Remnants of a Secret War by Mike Greenlar for images and story on related subject www.mikegreenlar.com”
- 3012. Paul Reading, FRESHWATER
- 3011. Anne Pardee, Skaneateles , NY
- 3010. [Private], Evanston, IL
“Jacob Putnam's speech at Goshen College in February 2013 made me aware of this unacceptable situation in Laos. Thank you, Jacob.”
- 3009. Christine M. Rizzo, Dexter, NY
- 3008. A. Deegan, Syracuse, NY
- 3007. Kimberley, Syracuse, NY