State funeral held for legendary general of Hồ Chí Minh Trail

April 10, 2019 - 18:08
Highest leaders of the country this morning paid tribute to the late Lieutenant General Đồng Sỹ Nguyên in a State-level funeral held in Hà Nội.


The country’s leaders pay tribute to the departed Lieutenant General Đồng Sỹ Nguyên at a State funeral in Hà Nội on Wednesday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn
The casket with the body of Lieutenant General Đồng Sỹ Nguyên, former commander of the Hồ Chí Minh Trail, is taken to the burial site in Ba Vì District following a State funeral in Hà Nội on Wednesday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn

HÀ NỘI — The country’s leaders paid tribute to the late Lieutenant General Đồng Sỹ Nguyên at a State funeral in Hà Nội on Wednesday morning.

Born in 1923 in a rural commune in the central province of Quảng Bình, Nguyên started taking part in revolutionary activities at the age of 16, becoming a member of the Communist Party of Việt Nam in 1939.

He became commander of High Command 559, a logistical unit that built and operated the Hồ Chí Minh Trail during the war, Political Commissar and Secretary of the High Command 559’s Party Committee, Secretary of the Party Committee of the advisors’ group, and Commander of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers in central and lower Laos.

In peacetime, he served as deputy minister of national defence, minister of construction, minister of transport, vice chairman of the Ministers’ Council (now deputy prime minister), and a National Assembly member in its first, sixth, seventh, and eighth tenures.

Following a bout of serious illness, he passed away at just before noon on April 4 at the Central Military Hospital 108 in the capital.

The funeral took place at the National Funeral Hall on Trần Thánh Tông Street from 7:30am on Wednesday.

At 5pm a burial service was held at Vĩnh Hằng in the city’s Ba Vì District.

Since early morning veterans and Nguyên’s former comrades gathered at the National Funeral House for the final farewell to their comrade and legendary general, whose name is indelibly linked with the strategy to gain an advantage over the Hồ Chí Minh Trail through the jungles and mountains of the Trường Sơn (Annamite) range.

The Hồ Chí Minh Trail had served as the critical logistical route for transporting materials and men from the north to the southern battlefields during the war against the Americans to unify the country.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (left) and Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hoà Bình lead the cortege as the casket with the remains of Lieutenant General Đồng Sỹ Nguyên leaves for the burial site after a State funeral in Hà Nội this morning. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất

In the memorial service book, and Party General Secretary and President Nguyễn Phú Trọng wrote Lieutenant General Đồng Sỹ Nguyên was an “outstanding and respected leader” and his passing away was a great loss for the country.

PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc wrote that as a commander of the Trường Sơn military unit Nguyên had led the Vietnamese People’s Army on marches that “cut through the Trường Sơn mountain range to save the country” and played a critical part in the final victory in the spring of 1975.

He also praised Nguyên’s capacity as a committed, down-to-earth and creative leader in his various governmental duties after the country was unified, leaving his mark on important national projects such as the Soviet-Việt Nam Friendship Bridge in Hà Nội and the modern Hồ Chí Minh Highway. — VNS