Decades after the Vietnam war, that nation struggles with its aftermath. Unexploded ordnance and the effects of Agent Orange (on human health and the environment) have created a deadly legacy for farmers and others. In 2001, Project RENEW was created. The acronym stands for Restoring the Environment and Neutralizing the Effects of War, and the organization is tackling a host of complex issues.
“If anywhere embodied Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay’s famous threat to bomb Vietnam back into the Stone Age, it was Quang Tri province, which was split in two by the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Vietnam. This is the skinny waist of Vietnam, a long snake of a country that stretches 1,000 miles from north to south. Hemmed in by the Annamite Mountains to the west and the South China Sea to the east, Quang Tri is only thirty miles wide in places. It’s smaller than Delaware, covering a little more than 1,800 square miles. Yet that tiny piece of earth is the most heavily bombed place in history; a greater tonnage was dropped here than on Germany in the whole of World War II.”