Tom Hayden Visits Metropole Bomb Shelter

Feb. 4, 2013
Tom Hayden drops into bomb shelter

HANOI, Vietnam — Tom Hayden, one of the founders and leaders of the 1960s student movement and an anti-war activist during the Vietnam War, returned to Hanoi in in December 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, ’67, ’72 and ’73, when he was married to the actress Jane Fonda, U.S. bombing runs drove Hayden and other hotel guests into an air raid shelter that the Sofitel 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,” he said. “More dim lights. Benches. Chairs. Lots of people together. The hotel staff very friendly. A circle of humanity.”