Today’s Pic du Jour is part of what has become an annual reminder that wars never end.
It’s from a post about an October 2010 visit —four years ago yesterday— to the Thanhxuan Peace Village, or Lang Hoa Binh Than Xuan, an orphanage, school and clinic in Hanoi set up specifically for victims of Agent Orange, which has now reached its third generation. Rarely a day passes that I don’t think about that afternoon on the fringes of the Vietnamese capital. I hope the kids are doing well.
I realize that this is fading gradually from memory into history, so a brief précis:
From 1961 through 1971, United States military forces dumped 20 million gallons, or about 80 million liters, of Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant containing an especially virulent form of dioxin, on southern Vietnam. Manufactured by Monsanto and Dow Chemical, it was housed in 55 gallon barrels adorned by orange stripes, thus its name. The operation ultimately left nearly five million people infected with dioxin. Estimates vary, but on the conservative side of things, some 150,000 Vietnamese children today live with the fallout.