WASHINGTON - As we honor those who lost their lives serving our country this Memorial Day, families on both sides of a deadly conflict have managed to do what many of us cannot -- set aside their differences.
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More than 50,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War, but on the other side, countless Vietnamese lost their lives as well. Now, those two sides are using their shared grief to overcome decades of anger.
Vu Ngoc Xiem lost his parent in the Vietnam War. "We should put the past behind and look forward to the future," he said.
Patty Young Leow lost her father in the Vietnam War. "As people, we have the same hearts," she said.
The nonprofit, The Two Sides Project connects families who lost loved ones on both sides of the conflict.
Ron Reyas lost his father in the Vietnam War. "That's how you heal," he said. "Just one person at a time."
After six Americans traveled to Vietnam in 2015, it was their turn to welcome four Vietnamese to the U.S. for the first time.
Standing beside the Vietnam Veterans Memorial they showed them where their parents names are etched.
Margot Carlson DeLogne lost her father. "I hated them."
Her father was a fighter pilot in the war and died when she was just two years old.
"I think after a while, I realized I didn't want to live with hatred anymore. I became aware as I grew older that my dad's bombs had probably killed a lot of people," DeLogne. "And that there was probably a daughter like me on the other side that had lost her dad."
She says the tears she cried on Memorial Day are tears of joy -- for having brought the two sides together.
"This just really feels like we're all coming full circle.
The Two Sides Project says they want to continue their mission to heal those affected by the Vietnam War, and any future conflict as well.
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