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Feb 17, 2024 / 10:27

Memorial service held in Hanoi to commemorate Merle Ratner's passing

Merle Ratner's passing is a great loss to peace loving people everywhere.

American anti-war activist Merle Evelyn Ratner, who died in early February, was remembered at a memorial service in Hanoi.

Merle Ratner's memorial service. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

The ceremony, held by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organization (VUFO), was attended by Vietnamese government officials and Merle's friends and family in the United States.

At the ceremony, VUFO President Phan Anh Son expressed his sorrow over the activist's death and offered his condolences to her family and close friends.

Son said VUFO will always treasure Merle's efforts to help both nations heal war wounds, assist Vietnamese Agent Orange victims, and strengthen Vietnam-US relations.

"Her affection for Vietnam and her legacy will remain the flame that guides Vietnam and the US to strengthen relations in the respect of mutual understanding, peace and cooperation," he said.

"Merle's passing is a great loss to leftist and communist comrades in both Vietnam and the US," he said.

Merle died in a car accident on February 5 while crossing the street near her home in Brooklyn, New York.

The New York-based US activist was born in 1956. Growing up, she developed a special affection for Vietnam.

Merle joined anti-war demonstrations at the age of 13 and became famous for hanging anti-war banners on the Statue of Liberty.

She also helped found and run the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC) in New York.

During her career, Merle began to play an active role in anti-war protests against the war in Vietnam and was a strong supporter of the Vietnamese armies and people in their struggle for independence and reunification in the late 1960s.

The activist also joined US communities in the anti-imperialist movements of the 1970s and 1980s and anti-racism campaigns in America today.

After 1975, Merle worked tirelessly for the normalization of the Vietnam-US relations and supported Vietnam's international missions.

She made several visits to Vietnam, where she met with the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, and others.

In 2010, she was awarded the "For the Development of Vietnamese Women" medal and the "For Vietnamese Agent Orange Victims" medal.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency in New York on February 1, on the occasion of the 94th anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, she praised the crucial role of the Party as the main contributor to Vietnam's successes and achievements.

The anti-war activist stressed that Vietnam will fulfill its tasks and achieve its goals because it is steadfast on the path it has chosen.