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Powell in Vietnam: Memories of war, hopes for peace

HANOI, Vietnam (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's trip to Vietnam this week is more than simple diplomacy in action.

Powell's memories of his two tours of duty in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War more than 30 years ago are rushing back to him.

CNN's Andrea Koppel reports on the visit to Hanoi by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell (July 26)

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When he toured central Hanoi, Powell thought of the past. "It reminded me of my days in Hue and Quang Tri," he said. "Same kinds of shops, smiling people, happy people. They wanted to talk."

Powell took time to honor a group of Americans and Vietnamese who weren't so lucky.

Powell attended a memorial service Thursday honoring victims of a helicopter crash in central Vietnam that killed 16 people last April. The dead included seven members of a U.S. military search team seeking the remains of Americans listed as missing in action during the war.

Nine Vietnamese also died in the crash. The expedition was doing advance work for a joint U.S.-Vietnamese effort to recover the remains of U.S. servicemen.

But as CNN State Department Correspondent Andrea Koppel reports, Powell is keeping his focus on the future of U.S.-Vietnamese relations rather than the past.

• Natl Alliance of POW/MIA Families
• Vietnam Veterans Of America

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