Viet Nam News
HCM CITY -- The General Offensive and Uprising in the spring of 1968 (Tết Offensive) remains forever a shining symbol of patriotism, determination and victory for the Party, people and army in the struggle to gain independence under the leadership of the Vietnamese Party and President Hồ Chí Minh, a senior Party leader told a meeting held to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic event at the HCM City’s Reunification Palace on Wednesday.
Speaking at “The epic in the Mậu Thân Lunar New Year 1968” meeting, Politburo member and HCM City Party Secretary Nguyễn Thiện Nhân hailed the significance of the Offensive: “We will forever be proud of the General Offensive and Uprising in the spring of 1968."
“It was proof of the greatness and power of the nation, an enduring epic written through the bravery, will power, wisdom and ultimate sacrifice of soldiers from the North and South.
“Half a century has passed since that memorable spring, a long enough time to contemplate, summarise and reiterate the importance, meaning and historical lessons of … and be forever proud of the Tết Offensive and self-confident to achieve other great victories.
“It was the pinnacle of the nation’s history in the 20th century.”
He said the victories of the 1968 offensive had strategic and decisive significance. It brought a rapid change in the war situation, improved the position of the National Front for the Liberation of South Việt Nam at home and abroad, struck a decisive blow to shake the will of the invaders, and destroyed the ‘local war’ strategy of the American imperialists and their henchmen, forcing them to scale down the war and stop bombing the North, opening opportunities for the next attack.
He said it was a strategic turning point in the war.
With successive victories on the battlefield, especially the Điện Biên Phủ victory in the air, and the signing of the Paris Agreement, the Party, army and people achieved the goal of stopping the involvement of Americans in the war and switched to hitting the puppet Sài Gòn regime and won outright in the historical spring of 1975, he said.
Task for Party
“The victories in the General Offensive and Uprising in the spring of 1968 also helped the Party learn important practical lessons for the current national construction and development.
“During the war, especially the Tết Offensive, even in the most difficult and harshest times, even when our forces were weaker than the enemy, we still fought and won because we had won the hearts of the people, were protected and supported by the people.”
“Therefore, the Party must continue to promote probity and strength, improve the leadership and fighting capacity and prevent ideological, political and moral debasement.
“The Party should focus on creating qualified and reliable cadres, strengthening the fight against bureaucracy, corruption and squander, restoring and consolidating people’s belief in the Party, and mobilising the strength of the entire nation to successfully accomplish important tasks.”
Furthermore, it is necessary to strengthen education for the younger generations on patriotism and revolutionary achievements to promote good values and determination to overcome all difficulties and challenges; increase self-reliance, self-motivation and creativeness for taking advantage of opportunities and overcoming risks and threats to build a prosperous, spiritually strong country like during the battle for national liberation.
Colonel Nguyễn Văn Tàu (alias Tư Cang), a Hero of the Armed Forces and an historical witness who was part of the command during the Tết Offensive, said: “The event is an enduring epic in our history of struggle and national liberation, a landmark in one of the largest military campaigns, a strategic victory of the Liberation Army in the South in the war against the Americans.
“It brought favorable conditions for our troops and people under the wise leadership of the Party, made possible the historic victory on April 30 and unified the whole country.”
With pride in their historical glory, veterans are committed to living a life worthy of the great sacrifices of generations of soldiers and people in the struggle for independence, national liberation and unification of the country, he said.
With pride in the Party, Uncle Hồ and the heroic army traditions of a heroic nation, the veterans dedicate themselves to the task of building and developing the country today, he said.
An American tank was taken over by Vietnamese soldiers in the spring of 1968. - VNA/VNS File Photo
Younger generations’ pride
Nguyễn Thị Phương Nghi, a student of HCM City National University, said: "We belong to generations born during peace and cannot appreciate the exact mood of the country during the 1968 Tết Offensive or the great struggle for national liberation.
“However, the heart and mind of each young person today has a profound belief in the [Tết Offensive] as a shining symbol of the will and power of the Vietnamese army and the spirit of independence, self-reliance and aspiration for peace, and the art of leading a war by our Party and beloved Uncle Hồ.
“Young people today vow to carry forward the spirit of the General Offensive and Uprising in the spring of 1968 to achieve great successes for the country, taking advantage of the 4th industrial revolution, mastering science and technology, creating jobs benefitting the country and affirming Việt Nam’s position in the international arena.
“With their strong will and determination and living in a peaceful, innovative environment, Vietnamese youths will definitely uphold the spirit of development, creativity and solidarity along with the Party and the people to prove our revolutionary achievements for the sake of a prosperous and powerful Việt Nam forever.”
The celebration saw the participation of Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng, his predecessors Lê Khả Phiêu and Nông Đức Mạnh, President Trần Đại Quang, his predecessors Trần Đức Lương and Nguyễn Minh Triết, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and his predecessor Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân, her predecessor Nguyễn Văn An, former Politburo member Phạm Thế Duyệt, former Standing Secretary of the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee, Lê Hồng Anh, and President of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee, Trần Thanh Mẫn.
Attending it were senior officials; leaders of central departments, ministries and mass organisations; representatives of provinces and cities from Quảng Trị to Cà Mau; elderly revolutionaries; Vietnamese Heroic Mothers; Heroes of the People’s Armed Forces; generals and other officers; veterans, representatives of families of members of the National Front for the Liberation of South Việt Nam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Việt Nam; artists; intellectuals; religious dignitaries; representatives of ethnic minorities; commanders of military forces, units, direct combat forces, and combat services participating in the Tết Offensive; representatives of a number of consular offices in HCM City; and members of the public. -- VNS