American activist bestowed with Friendship Order

Susan Hammond, founder and executive director of US-based War Legacies Project (WLP), has been honored with the Friendship Order, one of Vietnam's highest distinctions for organizations and individuals who help promote friendship between Vietnam and other countries.

Chairwoman of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations Nguyen Thi Phuong Nga told the award ceremony in Hanoi on Tuesday that WLP activities over the past two decades have contributed significantly to healing the wounds of war through the support of American war veterans and their families. Ms Hammond, daughter of a Vietnam war veteran, said the horrible legacy of Agent Orange she has witnessed from her first visit to Vietnam in 1991 has prompted her to do all she can to raise public awareness of the problem and support the victims in Vietnam.

The US army sprayed some 80 million liters of toxic chemicals in Vietnam from 1961 to 1971, more than 60 percent of which was Agent Orange containing dioxin.

4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin, and about 3 million became victims.

Source: VOV5