Respect for a legendary general and more
16:17 | 12/10/2013
VGP – The past few days have seen thousands of people from various parts of Viet Nam queuing to pay tributes to the national hero, General Vo Nguyen Giap, at his residence at No. 30 Hoang Dieu, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi. The legendary General passed away on October 4 at the age of 103.

People wait for their turn to pay tribute to General Vo Nguyen Giap at his house at No.30 Hoang Dieu Street, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi, October 6, 2013 - Photo: VGP

The genius General’s great contributions to the national defense and development have been reflected in numerous news articles, which have immediately received dozens of hundreds of comments of respect from readers.

 The tribute would live long in the memory as the entire nation has been mourning for the loss of one of the most prominent military leaders of Viet Nam and the world as well.

Condolences, tributes and commiserations from the international community have been poured in for the late General Giap, his family and the Vietnamese people, describing the death as a great loss to the Vietnamese nation.

The foreign mourners include leaders from the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, National Assembly and Government, the Lao National Construction Front and the Central Defence-Security Committee; Mr. Chea Sim, President of the Cambodia’s People Party and President of the Senate; Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika; National Secretary of the French Communist Party (FCP) Pierre Laurent; Chia Teck Keng, Vice President of the Singapore Veteran Association.

Foreign newswires also have not missed the chance, producing articles highlighting the life and career of General Giap, who, as the Washington Post quoted military scholars around the world, is one of the 20th century’s masters of modern revolutionary guerrilla warfare.

Meanwhile, The New York Times said he was the relentless and charismatic general whose battlefield victory at Dien Bien Phu drove France out of Viet Nam and whose tenacious resistance to the United States in a long and costly war there eventually sapped America’s political will to fight.

And in its print edition, South China Morning Post called General Vo Nguyen Giap a ‘military genius’.

For the writer of this article, both locals and foreigners have not just shown their admiration for General Giap’s talent and brainpower but also for the victorious history of Vietnamese people.

In his article on the Washington Post recently, Bart Barnes wrote: From a ragtag band of 34 men assembled in a forest in northern Viet Nam in December 1944, General Giap built the fighting unit that became the Viet Nam People’s Army. At the beginning, its entire supply of weapons consisted of two revolvers, one light machine gun, 17 rifles and 14 flintlocks, some of them dating to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05.

“But the original 34 men took a solemn oath to fight to the death for a Viet Nam independent of foreign rule, and they promised not to help or cooperate with colonial or any other foreign authorities”, according to Bart Barnes.

With the above figures, how Viet Nam won wars against French colonialists and American imperialists to liberate country could only be the solidarity and national patriotism of the whole nation in combination with foreign assistance.

However, the price paid was not small at all as a remote Viet Nam “suffered 15 million tons of bombs, four times the amount used in World War II. Each Vietnamese bore nearly 10 times his or her weight worth of bombs, not to mention our suffering from over 70 million liters of the silent but deadly Agent Orange/Dioxin”, as PM Nguyen Tan Dung read out in his speech at recent United Nations’ General Debate.

General Giap has passed away but he will live forever in the hearts of Vietnamese people as he is one of the symbols of national solidarity and Vietnamese brainpower – the wings for the nation to further heighten its role and prestige in the world./.

By Hai Minh

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