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A few weeks ago, Prime Minister Phan Huy Quat of Vietnam came aboard the USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) and addressed the crew, Here are excerpts from his address:
"I’d like to have your permission to say a few word to our friends on the USS Coral Sea."My dear friends, it is indeed a pleasure for me to be here today with you, and to personally bring you the warm greetings of the Vietnamese people. We in Free Vietnam are following with great interest your everyday activities in this part of the world for we know that they are mainly aimed at helping us preserve our independence and territorial integrity the face of blatant communist aggression coming from the North. "We in Free Vietnam are proud to count you among our friends, for friends you are indeed. In our hour of greatest need, when our very survival as free men is at stake, we are also deeply thankful that you have willingly accepted many sacrifices in serving out here, serving your great country but also, and more importantly, serving the sacred ideals of liberty and justice. "I do hope the that the communists in North Vietnam and the Chinese communists soon understand that, facing the men in the mightiest fleet in the world, they will decide to stop their aggression against Free Vietnam, and then peace, the peace that we all so ardently desire would come. We are not afraid of talking about peace but we want a peace to be enjoyed by proud and free men. "Friends, know that while you are doing your best out here your families are missing you and you are missing your dear ones, but I am sure that they would understand the importance of you mission and are rightly proud of you. I ask that you to please convey to your dear ones back home the kindest of regards of the entire Vietnamese people and out heartfelt thanks for them for sending you out here to assist us." From ALL HANDS 1965"Reprinted with permission of All Hands."