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Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

The man who ran the Hỏa Lò Prison where John McCain was held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam has penned a tribute to the late senator.Colonel Trần Trọng Duyệt praised McCain for both his conduct during his imprisonment and later work as a U.S. politician.

“At that time I liked him personally for his toughness and strong stance,” he said. “Later on, when he became a US Senator, he and Senator John Kerry greatly contributed to promoting Vietnam-U.S. relations so I was very fond of him. When I learned about his death early this morning, I feel very sad. I would like to send condolences to his family. I think it’s the same feeling for all Vietnamese people as he has greatly contributed to the development of Vietnam-U.S. relations.”

President Donald Trump notably refused to allow the White House to release a formal statement about McCain’s death that would have honored his service.

Chris Sosa is the Senior Editor at AlterNet. His work also appears in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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