Ratner passed away in a traffic accident in New York on February 5 evening.
Merle Evelyn Ratner, born in 1956 in New York City, had a special love for Vietnam. She took to the streets to protest against the Vietnam War when she was 13 years old and became famous for hanging anti-war slogans on the Statue of Liberty. She was a co-founder and coordinator of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC) in the New York area.
She actively participated in protests against the US war in Vietnam since the late 1960s, the anti-imperialist movement in the 1970s and 1980s, and anti-racism campaigns in the US today.
After 1975, Ratner campaigned for the normalisation of the Vietnam - US relations and supported Vietnam’s international activities. She visited the Southeast Asian country for many times and engaged in joint work with mass organisations, the Vietnam Fatherland Front, and the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics.
Ratner was awarded the "For the Development of Vietnamese Women" insignia in 2010 and the “For Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange” insignia in 2013.