A Resolution In The Making

On February 6, 2002, I received the following telefax from Mr. Raymond F. Burghardt, United States Ambassador To Vietnam:




I have subsequently received the hard-copy letter by mail. I believe this matter is quickly coming to a resolution.

On February 8, 2002, I sent the following response letter to Ambassador Burghardt:


February 8, 2002

Ambassador Raymond F. Burghardt
US Embassy, Hanoi, Vietnam 

Via FAX  844-772-1510

Reference: Embassy Letter of 2/6/02

Dear Ambassador Burghardt:

My receipt of your letter dated February 6 concerning the memorial plaque constituted 
one of the happiest moments in my recent years.  I thank you for your commitment to 
the replacement of the plaque.  It would be good (and perhaps appropriate) to continue 
attempts to retrieve the original.  But a replacement is certainly a Top Level solution.  
As Americans we know, even more so after the events of September 11, that our strength 
and solidarity lie much deeper than any physical symbol or material representation.  
In my mind, a replacement plaque is as strong and true a reflection of our ideology of 
Freedom as was intended with the original.

I would like to be so bold as to comment on one of your statements regarding the plaque.  
You indicate the plaque would be displayed "...in a suitable place of honor at the current 
American Embassy in Vietnam." I present the following for your consideration.

In my heart and soul, I feel the plaque belongs in Ho Chi Minh City on the grounds of what 
is now the new Consulate where these men made their final sacrifice.  I understand there 
is a flagpole just inside the compound with a base that contains some marble pieces from 
the old Embassy walls.  To me, this would seem to be an ideal spot for the plaque for both 
historical and sentimental reasons.

However, you are obviously more aware of such concerns as cost, security, aesthetics and 
State Department policy that would impact this plaque's final resting place.  In all truth, 
one place may be as good as the other.  But I can't help but wonder if there might be a way 
for the plaque to come to rest in old Saigon.

However that may turn out, I again wish to express my deepest and heartfelt thanks for any 
and all efforts you expend on this project.

Sincerely and most respectfully,

John Paul Rossie

I will continue providing details as they become available.

Rossie, out.
3/8/02 (5/15/02)

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