Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — An exhibition titled Tìm Lại Ký Ức (Finding Memories) opened at the War Remnants Museum in HCM City yesterday.
The museum and the management board of Hỏa Lò Prison Historical Relic in Hà Nội have organised the event to mark the 44th anniversary of National Reunification Day (April 30).
The exhibition showcases 250 photos, documents and memorabilia featuring four themes: Facing B52, Hilton - Hà Nội, Coming Back Home, and Building the Future.
The exhibits take visitors back to the 12-day historic battle against US B-52 bombers in December 1972, known as Điện Biên Phủ in the Air.
They recreate the struggle of people of Hà Nội and Hải Phòng who overcame sorrow and loss to achieve victory.
The items also show the life of imprisoned American pilots during their detention in Hỏa Lò Prison (nicknamed the Hà Nội Hilton), and the release of American prisoners of war at Gia Lâm Airport in Hà Nội in 1973.
Photos featuring the formal normalisation of diplomatic relations between the US and Việt Nam are on display as well.
The exhibition also includes memorabilia of US Navy Commander Walter Eugene Wilber, who flew a US Navy F-4J Phantom II to attack MiGs over North Việt Nam on June 16, 1968.
The F-4J Phantom II was shot down in Nghệ An Province by pilot Đinh Tôn who flew an MiG-21. Wilber was captured by local residents and later transferred to Hỏa Lò Prison.
His son, Thomas Eugene Wilber, donated the memorabilia to the management board of Hỏa Lò Prison Historical Relic in 2017.
Wilber said: “At the same time that we remember tragic losses and sacrifices, I hope we will recall today that the darkness of Điện Biên Phủ in the Air was followed by the brightness of peace and the reunification of the Vietnamese people.”
“To me, Finding Memories is about the strong and respectful friendships that Vietnamese and American citizens can now have,” he added.
Trần Xuân Thảo, director the museum, said: “The exhibition contains stories of imprisoned American pilots and the Vietnamese tradition of humanitarian efforts”.
“It is a chance for both local and foreign visitors to understand the humane spirit of the Party, government, military and people of Việt Nam during the war and today.”
All exhibits are included in the 280-page photobook Tìm Lại Ký Ức (Finding Memories), released by the management board in February.
The photobook was published by Công An Nhân Dân (Public Security) Publishing House. It is priced at VNĐ400,000 (US$17.2).
The exhibition will run until May. The museum is at 28 Võ Văn Tần Street in District 3. — VNS