It was on August 10, 1961, fifty years ago, that the US military first sprayed Agent Orange in Viet Nam, the defoliant containing the toxic chemical dioxin. In an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about the lingering effects of this poison legacy, people around the world are getting together on the tenth of August to mark this fiftieth anniversary on what has been dubbed Agent Orange Day.
Our International Committee President, Rosemarie Höhn-Mizo will be attending the Agent Orange Day ceremony in Viet Nam hosted by VAVA (Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin), and we have learned from our Japanese partner Ahara Sigemitu that in his country they are preparing for their first ever 8.10 Vietnam Dioxin Day event. We are sending statements to be presented at both of those events.
In the US, organizers with the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign have a success to celebrate. The legislation they have been working on for four years has been introduced into three Congressional committees by Representative Bob Filner (D-CA). Titled H.R. 2634, Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011, this bill will help Agent Orange–affected Vietnamese, children of US veterans, and Vietnamese-Americans.
To learn more about Agent Orange Day, check out the Make Agent Orange History blog, Stand Together on Agent Orange Day.