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A Talk with Le Ly Hayslip, inspiration of Oliver Stone’s “Heaven & Earth”
October 4, 2015 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am EDT
CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) invites you to meet and learn from one of most important women and role model for everyone, Le Ly Hayslip, miracle worker and international ambassador for peace. If you can see the world as she does, then you can change it as she has.
The lecture, part of an east coast speaking tour, will take place at CRS on Sunday, October 4, 2015 from 12 – 2 pm, with a reception with live Okinawan music to follow. Advanced tickets are available online, by phone and at CRS for $25 and at the door by donation. Seating is limited, but as long as there is space, no one will be turned away who cannot pay.
Le Ly Hayslip authored two groundbreaking bestsellers, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places and Child of War, Woman of Peace, memoirs of her painful and ultimately triumphant journey from a tragic childhood in war-torn Vietnam to her new life in America, which Oliver Stone adapted into the third film in his Vietnam trilogy, “Heaven & Earth.”
Despite having scant resources at her disposal, she used her will and compassion to establish two foundations (East Meets West and, later, Global Village Foundation) to Heal the Wound of War. For 30 years, Le Ly has set up hospitals, orphanages, universities, schools, classrooms, libraries and training workshops all over Vietnam.
How has Le Ly accomplished so much? A twice widowed house cleaning lady with little formal education, Le Ly didn’t have any money, nor any influential family members. She changed the world by changing her mind.
She learned to accept her traumas, recognizing they put her on a path to learn, grow and progress, enabling her to contribute to the world far more than if she had remained in the rice paddies of her village. She transformed her experience into a narrative that could spark change and healing. She didn’t judge herself or place any limits on her potential but worked tirelessly to be of service as much as possible.
“I had a dream in my spirit to see us reunited again as people, if only I could break down the walls of fear and mistrust that divided us. I dreamed that I, a housewife with a third-grade education, could transform the hatred of war into a bridge of peace for all people.” — Le Ly Hayslip
Let’s hear her story, share her passion, and follow in her footsteps to create more and more miracles together.
More About Le Ly Hayslip
In May 1970, I stepped from the Pan Am airliner that had taken me from the hell my country had become to the heaven I hoped America would be. I was twenty years old with two sons, both by different fathers. I didn’t speak much English, and my manners were better suited to peasant villages and Saigon street corners than a suburb of San Diego, which was to be my new home — a place stranger to a Vietnamese farm girl than the dark side of the moon.
My background was not like that of my American neighbors. By age twelve I had lost two brothers and countless uncles, aunts, and cousins to the war. By age fifteen I had been in battle, captured, tortured, …condemned to death and raped….
By sixteen I was an unwed mother supporting my family on Danang’ s black market. By the time I was nineteen my father had committed suicide rather than involve me again with the Viet Cong, and I was married to de quoc My, ”the enemy”—a middle-aged American civilian construction engineer, Ed Munro— in the desperate hope that would save me and my children from the war.
In 1986, Le Ly returned to her native homeland, Vietnam, and was stunned by the devastation, poverty and illness left by the Vietnam and American War. She went to work.
She initiated a bridge building project to bring American veterans back to Vietnam to work with international volunteers and her countrymen to re-build the villages destroyed in the war, providing a long elusive path to reconciliation and peace of mind for countless soldiers and citizens from all sides of the conflict. Her efforts to educate people about post-war conditions in Vietnam and to create new peaceful ties between Americans and Vietnamese were instrumental in persuading the US to re-establish and normalize relations with Vietnam in 1995. In 2000 Le Ly joined a delegation accompanying then President Clinton on his historic trip to Vietnam, the first by an American president since the end of the war.
To acknowledge those who helped her healing the war and peacemakers throughout the world, she created a Bridge of Peace Awards Gala Ceremony to honor people like Oliver Stone, Ron Kovic, John McCain, John Kerry and many others.