The repatriation ceremony was held at Phnom Penh International Airport VIP Terminal in the presence of Cambodian Secretary of State for Interior H.E. Sieng Lapresse, First Vice-Chairman of the Cambodia Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Committee, and U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. William E. Todd.
H.E. Sieng Lapresse said it is part of the humanitarian cooperation between Cambodia and the U.S. This will contribute to boosting both countries’ military and people-to-people relations, he underlined.
H.E. William Todd expressed his appreciation and thanked the Royal Government of Cambodia for this kind cooperation. “I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone in attendance. Today, we repatriate the remains of what may be U.S. citizens who died in service to our nation more than 40 years ago. As the son of a combat helicopter pilot who served in Vietnam twice, I am truly privileged to be a part of this important ceremony,” he said.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, 90 American soldiers were originally missing in Cambodia from the Vietnam Conflict. 37 individuals have been recovered and identified, while 53 remain missing.