Details Of The Dedication Ceremony

On October 30, 2002, I received the following email from Colonel Ball,
Defense & Army AttachÚ, U.S. Embassy, Hanoi:

Subject: Update on Memorial Plaque
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 10:57:10 +0700
From: "Ball, Stephen C"
To: "'Rossie, John Paul'"

Mr. Rossie, I received your message from Chief Oliveira concerning the
plaque memorializing the soldiers and the marine who died defending the US
Embassy during the 1968 Tet Offensive.  We do intend to replace the plaque
on the US Consulate grounds in Saigon, HCMC.  

The location we've selected for the plaque is on the US Consulate grounds,
in the garden, as close to the spot of actual fighting as possible.  We have
a huge beautiful circular planter filled with oleander bushes and we will
place the plaque on a pedestal there, with back lighting.  We will also
place a small explanatory plaque next to the memorial, so that future
generations will understand its significance.  The planter does not look
like a grave or an altar.  It looks more like a perpetual floral offering.

We intend to hold a small, yet very dignified ceremony to unveil the plaque.
We want to properly memorialize the sacrifice of the soldiers and marine
defending the embassy. We do not want a large-scale event which the
Vietnamese government could perceive as anti-Vietnamese or which they would
feel compelled to condemn with some harsh rhetoric.  We want to hold the
event without it triggering an inappropriate Government of Vietnam reaction.
Our goal in Vietnam is to manage the delicate balance between remembering
the war and our amazing and incredible sacrifices made during the war years,
while moving the Vietnamese out of dwelling on the war years and its
sentiment so that they become a contributing member of this region and the
world.  All leading toward stability and development.  Therefore, we are
purposefully holding a small ceremony with American businessmen, Embassy
employees and US veterans living in Vietnam.  

We would very much appreciate and recognize any floral arrangement you could
send.  The easiest way would be to have us, the Defense AttachÚ Office, buy
the arrangement here and have it displayed with an appropriate card from

We do intend to notify the family members of the fallen soldiers and marine.
We'll do that with photos and a write-up from our Public Affairs Office.
Pls provide the addresses, if you have them.  

Thank you for your continued interest in this important memorial.  We will
conduct the ceremony on 14 Nov.  Our goal was 11 Nov, Veteran's Day, but
conflicting events have caused us to adjust.  Pls feel free to write me any

Thank you and respectfully,

Stephen C. Ball
Colonel, U.S. Army
Defense & Army AttachÚ
U.S. Embassy, Hanoi

(84-4)772-1500 ext 2266
unclas fax: (84-4)831-3239

On November 2, the following email was sent in reply:

Subject: Re: Update on Memorial Plaque
Date: Sat, 02 Nov 2002 17:12:55 -0700
From: John Paul Rossie 
To: "Ball, Stephen C" 
November 2, 2002

Colonel Stephen C. Ball
Defense & Army AttachÚ
U.S. Embassy, Hanoi

Dear Colonel Ball,

I would like to thank you for providing the details and information
regarding the upcoming ceremony to dedicate the replacement plaque
for the five servicemen killed while defending the US Embassy,
Saigon, during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Your description of the
location for this plaque indicates it will indeed be displayed in a
suitable place of honor. I also thank you for providing us a channel
through which to procure floral arrangements from the local market
for this event.

We will remember these five men, along with the multitude of others
killed in the line of duty, on November 11, Veteran's Day, and then
again on November 14, the day you have specified the plaque
unveiling will occur.  Please accept our profound gratitude for
assisting in these final arrangements and the completion of this

Our deepest and heart-felt thanks from the Vietnam Veteran's Home
Page Platoon, as well as from the other Veterans and individuals who
have been involved in this effort, go out to you as well as to
Ambassador Burghardt and the entire staff of the Embassy and

Very sincerely,

John Paul Rossie


My deep personal thanks to everyone who contacted me during this project to provide information and support:
Mission accomplished and a job well done.

John Paul Rossie

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