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Vietnam is seeking UNESCO recognition for the central area of the Ancient Thang Long-Hanoi Royal Citadel as a world cultural heritage site.  This year, Hanoi has joined the Club of 1000-Year-Old Cities, and the city is full of beautiful decorations in celebration.

We spent most of the day visiting the two sites where Joe was held as a POW: the infamous Hanoi Hilton, and the 'Zoo'.  These were emotional visits for Joe and Maggie, both. I've included some photos below. (My internet connection is very slow and it's hard to find the time to upload the material, but I'm hoping to also upload at least one brief video.)

One of the more interesting developments today, was meeting "Mr. Duyet", who was the 'Chief Guard' at the Hanoi Hilton while Joe was imprisoned there. (He is in the black suit in the photos below)  There were also a number of other Vietnam vets who were visiting these two sites, as well.

At the site of the 'Zoo', which is under construction of a high-rise office building and movie theater, the guards attempted to get us to leave.  Luckily, once the owner of the project (the exclusive importer and distributor of American movies) was informed we were poking around the site, he not only allowed the visit, but also invited us up to his office nearby where we sat around a large conference table and discussed Joe's visit.

Hanoi, Vietnam
22 Feb 2010

 


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