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sheilas-letters
Urge senators to help Vietnamese find peace

As Published in the Bellingham Herald on May 10, 2002

     On April 30th, 1975, the world watched the last helicopter leave the American Embassy as Saigon fell.  A totalitarian regime was imposed and many Vietnamese people fled their homeland.  The Vietnamese, throughout the free world, commemorate this day in the same manner that Americans commemorate Pearl Harbor and September 11th.
 
     The Vietnamese government still denies its citizens the three building blocks to a peaceful society.  These building blocks are free elections, a fair and just judicial system and basic human rights.  World peace will never be realized until these building blocks are universally provided for every citizen.

     For example, Europe was in a constant state of war until democracy and freedom were established throughout Western Europe following the end of World War II.

     During this same period, the Soviet Block remained totalitarian.  Western Europe has lived in peace for over 50 years and has prospered.  The Soviet Empire remained in a constant state of war and revolution until it collapsed.

     In an effort to help establish these building blocks in Vietnam, the House of Representatives passed the Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2001.  The Senate has been blocked by committee from voting on this Act which has overwhelming support in the House.

     Please help forge another link in our quest for world peace by contacting U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington and urge them to support HR 2833 so that the Vietnamese people may find peace and prosperity through the establishment of basic human rights in their homeland.

Sheila L. Richardson

Bellingham

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