Violin rhythm in My Lai
On March 16 every year, local people in the central province of Quang Ngai see a foreign man play violin at the My Lai Massacre Monument in Tinh Khe Commune, Son Tinh District. The man is Roy Mike Boehm, an American veteran from Madison City of the U.S. state of Wisconsin.
The massacre took place in My Lai Hamlet, Son My Village (now in Son Tinh District) on March 16, 1968, by a group of U.S. soldiers. Up to 504 victims, mostly old people, women and children, were killed.
Mike Boehm says that in 1980, he picked up an old violin at a dumpsite. He cleaned, fixed and learned to play it. When he listened to the song “Ashokan Farewell,” its rhythm seemed to touch his heart and he decided to learn to play the song.
In 1992, Mike Boehm went to Vietnam to play violin on the memorial day of the My Lai massacre. He has been playing this song in My Lai on March 16 over the past 20 years. In 1994, Mike Boehm established the Madison Quakers Fund to help the needy in the village.
Every year, Mike Boehm always goes to Vietnam on International Women’s Day (March 8) to attend events held by the Women’s Union of Quang Ngai Province because he is an honorary member of this organization. Thanks to Mike Boehm’s support, many local women have a better life.
To Mike Boehm, every time he goes to Vietnam, he always feels it’s like a safe trip home after a long journey. He is now learning Vietnamese persistently, reported Tien Phong newspaper.
All for love
The unique wedding party of Alec Schachner, 28, and Tina, 27, was held in HCMC’s District 2.
Alec graduated from Columbia University in 2008 and he intended to work in Vietnam within four months. However, his first intention went astray as he met and fell in love with Tina. Tina was born in the northern province of Ninh Binh. She and her family had lived abroad and returned to Vietnam in 2008.
Tina tells Tuoi Tre newspaper that she thought of holding a wedding in her own way. She was surprised that Alec also had the same idea. In their wedding, the groom wore áo dài (Vietnamese traditional costume) and the bride wore a wedding gown, which showed the harmony, understanding and share between the peoples of different cultures. Alec gave Tina a sword that symbolized women’s freedom and private rights. A teapot made of coconut leaves was burn to ask for permission from heaven and earth. It replaced the ritual of offering tea to grandparents and parents in traditional weddings. Considering that thrift and love are the most precious things, Tina and Alec wore cloth rings instead of gold ones.
To Tina, everybody has a chance to live their own life. So, she has to do anything for her love. Alec says that he appreciates Vietnamese women and he thinks that they should have more freedom to decide their own happiness.
Police officer dies for typhoon victims
On April 1, Typhoon Pakhar wrecked havoc in Bau Ham 1 Commune, Trang Bom District, Dong Nai Province. Many houses were collapsed and trees uprooted. Local authorities helped local people regardless of danger.
While Pham Quoc Phong, head of Bau Ham 1 police station, was helping locals reinforce their houses, a tree fell on him. Phong was critically injured and passed away later.
Many condolences were sent to Phong’s family and Phong became the brave example of helping other people, reported vnexpress.net.