December 19,2008

Baucus Honors Fallen Americans at U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Senator lays wreath at Memorial Plaque in Consulate garden, continues trade discussions

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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D Mont.) this week honored the American military men and women who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. During a Thursday visit to the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, Baucus laid a wreath at the Memorial Plaque dedicated to the five American soldiers and one Marine who died in the 1968 Tet Offensive assault on the U.S. Embassy there. More than 58,000 U.S. military personnel died as a result of the Vietnam War, including more than 38,000 killed in action. Nearly 15,000 U.S. Marines were killed. More than 250 Montanans died in the war.

“Even as the United States and Vietnam engage peacefully today, it is right to honor those Americans who gave their lives in conflict here long ago,” Baucus said. “Hundreds of thousands of our fighting men and women are serving around the globe today. Each one deserves to know that no matter how the world may change or how many years may pass, their bravery and their sacrifices will never be forgotten.”

Also on Thursday, Baucus met with the Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, "Mayor" Le Hoang Quan, at the Reunification Palace. In the cordial meeting, Baucus continued to push for a full opening of Vietnam's market to U.S. beef, including that from cattle older than 30 months, and also talked about the importance of educational exchanges between America and Vietnam. This year, Baucus led the way to the signing of an education exchange agreement between Vietnam and the University of Montana. A Thursday evening visit to the 37,000-student Can Tho University in the Mekong Delta gave Baucus the opportunity to urge more Vietnamese students to study in the U.S.

On Friday, Baucus discussed international competition in the rice trade during a visit to Long An Food Company in Vietnam's Tien Gian Province, in the Northern Mekong Delta.

Please see the Photo Gallery to view photographs of selected Thursday events and Friday's tour. Photos of the visit to Long An Food Company should be credited to Senate Finance Committee/Janis Lazda. All other photos should be credited to Senate Finance Committee/Carol Guthrie.