An American couple is briefed, over tea by the Vice-chairman of Thanh Hoa Province, located 150 kilometers south of Hanoi. It is July 22, 1994. This is what he said:
We may take a long time to heal the wounds of the war, but we would like to close the door on the past.
The responsibility of the U.S. toward Vietnam is great. Official development aid is the minimum the U.S. can do.
There were 80,000 overflights, 14,000 bombing raids, 4,000 of which were aimed at civilian targets. There were 10,000 economic targets, factories, bridges, infrastructure. 184 thousand tons of explosives, or 100 kg per capita were dropped. There were 500 attacks numbering 35,000 rounds of ammunition from naval guns of the 7th Fleet. The air raids were steady from 1965 through 1968. The most intense bombing was in 1972. B-52s. 2,000 over the whole year. [Nobel Laureate] George Wald [there with an investigative team?] saw a U.S. pilot shot down. The capitalists enjoyed it too. They had a chance to sell another plane.
More than 20,000 people were killed or wounded, just civilians. 3,000 children. 6,000 women. Ten percent of the 54,000 inhabitants of Thanh Hoa City alone were killed.
More than 13,000 dwellings were destroyed. 200 schools. 22 hospitals and 100 clinics. One hospital had 600 beds.
28 Catholic churches were destroyed. 17 Buddhist pagodas. 100 cultural buildings, theaters, clubs, a stadium.
There were 600 attacks on irrigation systems.
Animals, plantations roads, forest…
The Vietnamese people are not intimidated by violence.