Karen writes for Chime for Change about Noi, a woman we met in Phongsali Province, Laos, in 2010.
I sit with Noi and her sister, Awn, as the two ebullient women tell me about the war. “I still remember,” Noi says. “I was young. The bombs, the fighting. The airplanes.” It was 1964 when a big bomb hit her house. “After that: smoke around me. I didn’t know where to go. There was no one to pick me up. My friend’s father shouted, ‘Noi, Noi, are you dead?’ I heard him, but all around, the houses were burning.” An American bomb had set several homes ablaze and sent shrapnel flying in every direction.
The family of Lyndon B. Johnson thinks that the long, dark shadow of the war in Vietnam has shrouded his positive achievements here in the US. And, this year, they want to try to rectify that imbalance. That’s a fine idea, as long as they also note another signature, yet greatly overlooked achievement of his: he began the bombing in Laos.
Karen wrote about this for al Jazeera America, and asked the Johnson family to remember all that has been forgotten from the era – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
From the New York Times: “William H. Sullivan, a career diplomat who spent much of the 1960s and 1970s in volatile parts of the world — notably Laos, where he oversaw a secret bombing campaign, and Iran, where he was the last United States ambassador before militants took embassy employees hostage in November 1979 — died on Oct. 11 in Washington. He was 90.” See the full story here.