HANOI – Tom Hayden, one of the founders and leaders of the 1960s student movement, an anti-war and civil rights activist during the Vietnam War, returned to Hanoi in December last year to burrow through his history in the city as well as a warren of subterranean rooms he’d last visited when bombs rained on this war-torn city.
During visits in 1965, 1967, 1972 and 1973, when he was married to the actress Jane Fonda, US bombing runs drove Hayden and other hotel guests into an air raid shelter that the Sofi tel Legend Metropole Hanoi unearthed last year and established as a memorial. Today’s memorial looks different from the shelter he remembers.
“In 1965, 1967 and 1973, there was life and spirit there,” said Hayden. “More dim lights. Benches. Chairs. Lots of people together. The hotel staff very friendly. A circle of humanity.”