Exhibition features 12 brave days and nights of Hanoians

December 19, 2022 - 09:38

Dozens of items and images reflecting the brave fight of the armed forces and people during the American bombings in Hà Nội in December 1972 are on display in the capital city.

HÀ NỘI – Dozens of items and images reflecting the brave fight of the armed forces and people during the American bombings in Hà Nội in December 1972 are on display in the capital city.

Titled “Blood and Flowers – Hà Nội 12 Days and Nights”, the event aims to help visitors, especially young people, understand the struggles and courageous fight against American bombers during the historic air campaign Operation Linebacker II over Hà Nội in December 1972.

Some bomb shelters are remade at the exhibition. VNS Photos Lê Hương

According to Nguyễn Văn Đoàn, Director of the Việt Nam National Museum of History, the exhibition highlights values of belief, the solidarity between the army and people to overcome losses, pains, injuries and sacrifices to bring peace to the capital.

“The exhibition helps people understand more about a brave and optimistic Hà Nội, with the people strongly believing in the final victory in a righteous war,” he stressed.

A visitor at the event. 

“This is a chance to educate the youth to be proud of the revolutionary tradition, so that they spare no efforts to learn, practice skills to build up and protect the sovereignty of the country,” he said.

The exhibition consists of 3 parts: “Strategic Vision”, “Hà Nội 12 Days and Nights – Blood and Flowers” and “Victory Flowers”.

Visitors can understand the life and the atmosphere of fighting during the campaign through memories of Hanoians, their victories, the development of the capital after 50 years and the diplomatic relationship between Việt Nam – the US in the integration period.

Former reporter Nguyễn Xuân Mai recalls memories of the period.

Eighty-year-old Nguyễn Xuân Mai, a former reporter from Air Defence – Air Force Newspaper, recalled his memorable meeting with Uncle Hồ at Bạch Mai Airport on July 19, 1965.

“I took two photos when Uncle Hồ stood by a combat vehicle,” he told Việt Nam News. “It was very early in the morning and the light was dim. Then I took the next three photos when Uncle Ho spoke to soldiers from an artillery battery. Then the camera ran out of film. I rushed to a corner to change another cartridge. I was in a hurry and put the film cartridge the wrong way. The camera could not function properly. I took a deep breath and took it out and put in the second film cartridge. It worked that time. I took some more photos of Uncle Hồ talking with the soldiers.”

Mai then donated the photos to the museum. It was the first time in his career he had taken photos of Uncle Hồ.

A table scale used to measure food for people at that time displayed at the exhibition.

The exhibition will run till the end of April 2023 at the museum on 25 Tông Đản Street, Hoàn Kiếm District, Hà Nội.

The aerial bombing campaign dubbed the "Christmas Bombings" unfolded over 12 days from December 18-30, aiming to destroy all major targets in Hà Nội and Hải Phòng areas and threaten the Vietnamese people’s willingness to fight for national independence and reunification.

During the campaign, the US Air Force's B-52 bombers and F-111 fighters made more than 4,500 sorties releasing 80,000 tonnes of bombs and shells, seriously damaging many areas of Hà Nội, Hải Phòng and the vicinity, including many residential areas.

With a brave fighting spirit and creativity, the Vietnamese army and people defeated the most brutal US air strikes in modern history. 

The North Vietnamese jet fighters and surface-to-air missiles shot down 81 aircraft, including 34 B-42s. This glorious victory was praised as "Điện Biên Phủ in the Air", resembling the victory of Việt Nam over the French at Điện Biên Phủ in 1954.

The victory forced the US to come to the negotiation table to sign the Paris Peace Accords in February 1973 and pull out of Việt Nam. VNS

Some objects involving the Paris Conference are on display.