Regions in Laos that were bombed are highlighted in red and yellow.
Secret War In Laos
From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos during 580,000 bombing missions—equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years – making Laos the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. The bombings were part of the U.S. Secret War in Laos to support the Royal Lao Government against the Pathet Lao and to interdict traffic along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The bombings destroyed many villages and displaced hundreds of thousands of Lao civilians during the nine-year period.
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A U.S. 1000-pound bomb in the road, near Moung Taoy, Salavan. A bomb disposal team from UXO Lao had spent twenty days excavating the bomb in preparation to defuse it. Photo: Marcus Q. Rhinelander
Unexploded ordnance (UXO) are explosive weapons (bombs, bullets, shells, grenades, land mines, naval mines, etc.) that did not explode when they were deployed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were used or discarded. About one third of Laos remains contaminated with UXO left behind from the Vietnam War, including about 80 million cluster munitions.
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Legacies of War
The mission of Legacies of War is to raise awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos and advocate for the clearance of unexploded bombs, to provide space for healing the wounds of war, and to create greater hope for a future of peace.
The organization uses art, culture, education, community organizing and dialogue to bring people together and create healing and transformation out of the wreckage of war.
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