New York (VNA) – Merle Ratner, a renowned left-wing and anti-war activist in the US and a close friend of Vietnam, passed away February 5 evening in New York in a traffic accident.

Her husband Ngo Thanh Nhan, who is a professor at New York University, said that she was killed by a tow truck in the East Village while crossing the street near her house in Brooklyn.

Merle Evelyn Ratner, born in 1956 in New York City, has a special love for Vietnam. She took to the streets to protest against the Vietnam War when she was 13 years old and became famous for hanging anti-war slogans on the Statue of Liberty. She is a co-founder and coordinator of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC) in the New York area.

Ratner actively participated in protests against the US war in Vietnam since the late 1960s, the anti-imperialist movement in the 1970s and 1980s, and anti-racism campaigns in America today.

After 1975, with a deep love for Vietnam, Ratner campaigned for the normalisation of Vietnam-US relations, and supported Vietnam’s international activities. She visited Vietnam many times, and engaged in joint work with mass organisations, the Vietnam Fatherland Front, and the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics.

Ratner was awarded the “For the Development of Vietnamese Women” insignia in 2010 and the “For Vietnam Agent Orange Victims” insignia in 2013.

In an interview with Vietnam News Agency on February 1 in New York on the occasion of the 94th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), Ratner once again emphasized the leadership role of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) as a decisive factor behind every achievement and success of Vietnam. She affirmed that the CPV is steadfast on the path to socialism, fighting for the values of socialism worldwide and that Vietnam will certainly succeed on its chosen path. — VNA