|Lasting legacy: A girl photographs images at the exhibition Dien Bien Phu - A Golden Epic that opened yesterday at the grave of General Vo Nguyen Giap. — Photo tuoitre.vn
HA NOI (VNS)— A variety of activities are taking place in Viet Nam and around the rest of the world to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Victory, which falls on Wednesday.
A photo exhibition was opened yesterday at the grave of General Vo Nguyen Giap on Yen Island in the central province of Quang Binh by the Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA) and the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
Titled Dien Bien Phu – A Golden Epic, the display features 60 photos depicting the Dien Bien Phu campaign and Gen Giap. The images were captured by VNA reporters and VAPA members.
The event aims to pay respect to a national hero and highlight the glorious feats of arms performed by the Vietnamese people under the leadership of the Party, President Ho Chi Minh and Gen Giap.
Standing along the way to the General's grave, the exhibits are divided into two sections to give viewers a truthful insight into the historical campaign and images of Gen Giap during his visits to the battlefield.
"I was a soldier with Brigade 308 which fought on the C1 Hill during the Dien Bien Phu campaign under the command of General Vo Nguyen Giap. Today, visiting the General's grave and looking at these photos of that time when I lost many of my comrades, I am overcome," said 84-year-old Tran Van Tiet from Nghi Loc District, Nghe An Province.
When the exhibition closes on May 14, all the exhibits will be presented to Quang Binh to display at the gravesite or other anniversaries.
In related news, the Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VFF) yesterday afternoon organised a meeting between war veterans and young volunteers. The veterans, principal members of the United Viet Nam National Front, were directly involved in the Dien Bien Phu campaign.
VFF Chairman Nguyen Thien Nhan said the meeting aimed to recall memories and impart precious lessons so that the Dien Bien Phu spirit could be brought into full play during present times.
Stressing the significance and great historical value of the Dien Bien Phu Victory, he said national solidarity and strength of the Vietnamese army was a key factor in each victory achieved by the nation's revolutionaries.
He expressed his gratitude and respect for President Ho Chi Minh and General Giap – commander-in-chief of the campaign, as well as thousands of soldiers, youth volunteers and civilians for their heroic services and sacrifices that made victory possible.
Also yesterday in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, the University of Can Tho and the municipal Association of War Veterans held a meeting between 200 veterans of the wars against the French and Americans with more than 1,000 local students.
"The historical Dien Bien Phu Victory left behind many meaningful lessons for not only Vietnamese people, but also foreigners," said vice chairman of the municipal People's Committee Le Van Tam.
"The most important lesson is that a nation cannot be defeated by any enemy if they are forced to stand up to fight for their independence, freedom, peace and unification," Tam said.
"Nowadays, when we look back to the size and the force that the enemy deployed during the Dien Bien Phu battle, we can understand the strength of national solidarity, and see how great and significant the victory was."
Organised by the municipal youth union, the event aimed to help young people learn more about the war during the Dien Bien Phu campaign through the stories of veterans who fought in the battle.
On this occasion, the northern province of Yen Bai has also organised a week of culture, sports and tourism themed the Lung Lo Pass – Historical Route. The 35km Lung Lo Pass, a section of National Highway 37, borders Yen Bai and Son La.
Using a fleet of aeroplanes, the French colonists bombarded the location with nearly 12,000 tonnes of bombs. However, the Vietnamese resistance force managed to open a new route for soldiers and weapons through to Dien Bien Phu.
The pass was recognised as national historical relic in 2012.
Taking place under the foot of the Lung Lo Pass, the festival has cultural and artistic programmes to re-enact the war, film screenings, exhibitions of war artefacts, food fairs and tours along the pass. The four-day event ends today.
Over the border in Laos, the country's Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism is preparing a range of activities to celebrate the battle.
"The victory was 60 years ago, but the Vietnamese, the Lao people and peace lovers all over the world still admire and feel proud of the events that took place," Laos's deputy minister of culture Bounguen Sapouvong wrote for Voice of Viet Nam radio.
"That is not only the victory of three Indochina nations, but of oppressed nations worldwide. It is a vivid symbol of the special solidarity and friendship, and the great military alliance between Viet Nam and Laos." — VNS