The 2 Sides Together in Quang Tri Province

Our second sons and daughters meeting took place south of Hanoi in the Quang Tri area. Seven Vietnamese sons and daughters were already sitting on one side of the table when we arrived. A government official opened the meeting with some formal remarks about the historic and important nature of the meeting. Then, as in Hanoi, we went around the room and introduced ourselves. We found striking similarities in our stories, and heard new and heartbreaking details of the experience on the other side. See more at the 2 Sides Project Facebook page. 

Nguyen Duy Dung and Patty Young Loew. These two had so much in common it was eerie. Both of their fathers were killed by a shot to the head. Both were two years old at the time. And both had mothers who died of cancer. Mr. Dung said he had no photos of his father because it was too dangerous to keep them. Patty has only a few pictures of her father. 

Nguyen Duy Dung and Patty Young Loew. These two had so much in common it was eerie. Both of their fathers were killed by a shot to the head. Both were two years old at the time. And both had mothers who died of cancer. Mr. Dung said he had no photos of his father because it was too dangerous to keep them. Patty has only a few pictures of her father. 

 
Susan Mitchell-Mattera and Duong Thi Loan. Both are nurses, and very proud of their professions. Ms. Loan’s father was killed during the Tet Offensive in 1968. Her mother was pregnant at the time, so Ms. Loan never had a chance to meet her father.

Susan Mitchell-Mattera and Duong Thi Loan. Both are nurses, and very proud of their professions. Ms. Loan’s father was killed during the Tet Offensive in 1968. Her mother was pregnant at the time, so Ms. Loan never had a chance to meet her father.

 
Mike Burkett and Ho Tuan Nghia. Mr. Nghia’s father was killed in 1968 in Cam Lo by a U.S. helicopter. He was surprised to find that we share the same pain, and even interests. These two both love photography.

Mike Burkett and Ho Tuan Nghia. Mr. Nghia’s father was killed in 1968 in Cam Lo by a U.S. helicopter. He was surprised to find that we share the same pain, and even interests. These two both love photography.

 
Margaret Von Lienen and Pham Thi Thuy. They were both five years old when their fathers were killed. Ms. Thuy talked about how vividly she remembers the South Vietnamese coming for her mother, who was imprisoned and tortured for being married to a North Vietnamese soldier. Ms. Thuy was forced to deny her heritage to avoid the same fate. She said “you have a lot of pain, and I do, too.”

Margaret Von Lienen and Pham Thi Thuy. They were both five years old when their fathers were killed. Ms. Thuy talked about how vividly she remembers the South Vietnamese coming for her mother, who was imprisoned and tortured for being married to a North Vietnamese soldier. Ms. Thuy was forced to deny her heritage to avoid the same fate. She said “you have a lot of pain, and I do, too.”

 
Tong Sy Thanh and Susan Mitchell-Mattera. They were five years old when their fathers were killed. Mr. Thanh’s father was killed in 1968 in the Hue battlefield. He said he understands our fathers had to serve their nations but that “getting together with each other gives us a chance to make things better.”

Tong Sy Thanh and Susan Mitchell-Mattera. They were five years old when their fathers were killed. Mr. Thanh’s father was killed in 1968 in the Hue battlefield. He said he understands our fathers had to serve their nations but that “getting together with each other gives us a chance to make things better.”

 
Margot Carlson Delogne and Doan Minh Tham. Mr. Tham was eight years old when his father died in 1968. He was the first to share and said that the real impact of war is clear when you see the two sides and their losses. He said he was very happy to be meet with everyone.

Margot Carlson Delogne and Doan Minh Tham. Mr. Tham was eight years old when his father died in 1968. He was the first to share and said that the real impact of war is clear when you see the two sides and their losses. He said he was very happy to be meet with everyone.

 
Vo Chi Thuy and Ron Reyes. Their fathers were killed in the Tet Offensive. Both were one month old when their fathers died, and neither met their father. Ms. Thuy’s father had to hide in the woods during the battle, and that’s where he was killed. His body was never recovered. Her grandmother told her about her father. She said he was very handsome. Ron’s grandmother always said the same about his father. 

Vo Chi Thuy and Ron Reyes. Their fathers were killed in the Tet Offensive. Both were one month old when their fathers died, and neither met their father. Ms. Thuy’s father had to hide in the woods during the battle, and that’s where he was killed. His body was never recovered. Her grandmother told her about her father. She said he was very handsome. Ron’s grandmother always said the same about his father.