Ceremony commemorates Vietnam’s close friend Merle Everlyn Ratner

New York: Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Nguyen Quoc Dung and Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN attended a ceremony to commemorate Merle Everlyn Ratner - a left-wing activist and a faithful American friend of Vietnam, which was solemnly held in New York on February 28 (local time). Among about 200 people participating in the ceremony in person and online, there were advocacy groups supporting victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (AO) in Vietnam and a large number of Vietnamese in the US. Participants recalled memories of Ratner and reviewed the life, career and contributions that she made to the struggle for peace, social equality and the rights of workers in the US and many other countries, especially her love and dedication to the country and people of Vietnam. Ambassador Dung expressed condolences for the passing of Ratner. He affirmed that the country and people of Vietnam always remember and appreciate her warm sentiments and contributions to the the struggle for na tional liberation, national unification and the development and integration of Vietnam, as well as the efforts to find justice for AO victims. The ambassador emphasised that the thoughts and activities as well as dedications of Ratner have become a valuable legacy, a source of inspiration and encouragement for her friends and comrades. Meanwhile, Ambassador Giang said that Ratner's passing is a great loss to not only Vietnam and the Vietnam-US relations but also to peace lovers and left-wing and progressive people in the US. The greatest legacy that Ratner left behind is the spirit of optimism, belief in the victory of peace and justice as well as the bright future of Vietnam and of working people around the world. Born in 1956 in New York City, Ratner had a special love for Vietnam. She took to the streets to protest against the Vietnam War when she was 13 years old and became famous for hanging anti-war slogans on the Statue of Liberty. Ratner actively participated in protests against the US war in Vietn am since the late 1960s, the anti-imperialism movement in the 1970s and 1980s, and anti-racism campaigns in America today. She was a co-founder and coordinator of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign in the New York area. Ratner passed away in an accident in New York on February 5 evening./. Source: Vietnam News Agency

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