U.S. President Barack Obama, in Hanoi, Vietnam today, addressed that nation’s people with remarks that included a reference to the Zen master, Engaged Buddhism advocate, and lifelong anti-war activist, Thich Nhat Hanh.
And as Vietnam has transformed, so has the relationship between our two nations. We learned a lesson taught by the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, who said, “In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.” In this way, the very war that had divided us became a source for healing. It allowed us to account for the missing and finally bring them home. It allowed us to help remove landmines and unexploded bombs, because no child should ever lose a leg just playing outside. Even as we continue to assist Vietnamese with disabilities, including children, we are also continuing to help remove Agent Orange — dioxin — so that Vietnam can reclaim more of your land.