The following open letter from the Vietnam-USA Society to the people of the United States was received from Hoang Cong Thuy, the society’s general secretary, on April 22.

Thirty years ago, the war ended and peace was restored in Vietnam. That made it possible to open up a new stage in Vietnam-U.S. relations.

On this occasion we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all peace-and-justice loving Americans for their opposition to the American war in Vietnam. At the same time, we express our deep sympathy with the pain of American families who lost their loved ones in the war.

We highly appreciate the great efforts Americans, including veterans, have made in promoting relations of friendship and cooperation between the people of our two countries.

Vietnam today is no longer a land of war, but a country of growing prosperity. Our people’s earnest desire is to live in peace, independence and freedom, to develop the country along the path of our own choice and to have relations of friendship and equal cooperation with all countries. We welcome all Americans to come and see firsthand the changes in all aspects of life in Vietnam.

The two countries experienced a difficult and complicated period in their relations. They now enjoy a normal relationship. The past 10 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations have seen multi-faceted, bilateral cooperation taking shape. In the spirit of shelving the past while not forgetting it, why should we not jointly look forward to the future?

We wish to contribute to building equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with the United States on a lasting and stable basis. In pursuit of their humanitarian tradition, the Vietnamese people have been willingly working with the American side to address the war legacy, including the POW/MIA issue. We look forward to the goodwill of the American side in solving the war’s consequences for the Vietnamese people.

On this occasion we call on all Americans to join the common efforts in healing the wounds of the past and build friendly relations between Vietnam and the United States for a better future of the people of our two countries. We wish you a life of peace and prosperity.

Hanoi, April 2005