The legendary general

PANO – Though it is a matter of life and death, people across the country and international friends have been stunned by the news of General Vo Nguyen Giap’s death.

General Vo Nguyen Giap inquiring after elderly Le Thi Om, a Thai ethnic person who sacrificed her child to defend revolutionary cadres in the resistance war against French invaders. The photo was taken in April 2004.

General Vo Nguyen Giap inquiring after elderly Le Thi Om, a Thai ethnic person who sacrificed her child to defend revolutionary cadres in the resistance war against French invaders. The photo was taken in April 2004.

* Lieutenant Colonel, Veteran Do Van Hoa in Vien An commune, Ung Hoa district, Hanoi, said that he was shocked at the news of the general’s death. He was a soldier during the Vietnam War and heard stories about General Vo Nguyen Giap, especially about his sentiment and care for soldiers.

“In each battle, the general worked out detailed plans to minimize casualties for troops,” Hoa said, “I also know that after winning fierce battles, while others were celebrating victories, General Vo Nguyen Giap cried silently because many soldiers had sacrificed their lives. The general has passed away, to the immense sadness of both Vietnamese and worldwide peace lovers. Farewell, my general!”

* “Veterans and people in Bac Giang province have been driven by grief at General Vo Nguyen Giap’s death. I could not help crying. I could not believe this. Although I was not under General Vo Nguyen Giap’s command, we are always proud of being soldiers of Uncle Ho and General Giap. We offer incense to General Giap – the People’s General and Eldest Brother of the Vietnam People’s Army – in all sincerity!”, said Veteran Tran Huu Hung in Tan Yen district, Bac Giang province.

* “General Vo Nguyen Giap’s death came as a thunderbolt, I looked at the photo of him and me. Lively memories from nearly 20 years ago appeared in my mind,” said Pham The Vinh in An Xa hamlet, Loc Thuy commune, Le Thuy district, Quang Binh province.

He reminisced about General Giap’s visit to his native village in mid-August 1996. Vinh and some photographers accompanied the general. General Giap visited the Le Thuy district Martyrs’ Cemetery and his father’s tomb. He talked with local residents and received flowers from students on his way.

“Suddenly, the general said to us: ‘I guess you don’t have a photo taken with me. Come here, come here!’ Immediately, we tens of photographers rushed to General Giap and in turn had photos taken with him,” added Vinh.

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“The photo is invaluable to me. His care for us erased the distance in rank and age between the legendary general and young generations like us. I keep this memory forever in my mind”, said Vinh.

* Colonel Nguyen Xuan Ky, a war veteran, had met three times (in 1971, 1999 and 2002) with General Vo Nguyen Giap.

“I had a special feeling each time I saw him – the Commander-in-Chief of the Vietnam People’s Army. I always bear in my mind his teaching of ‘You should stick together and effectively implement tasks assigned by the Party, State, army and people’. Over the past years, inside and outside the army, I have strived to complete all assigned works, following the tradition of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” and the general’s teaching,” Ky told.

* Le Hung in Cau Giay district, Hanoi, said that his family members wept over General Vo Nguyen Giap’s death. His father quietly cleaned the general’s photo which was taken by photographer Tran Huy Khuong on May 7th 1989 on the 35th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory.

“I am working for a Japanese company in Hanoi. When we heard of the news, my two colleagues shook my hands and expressed condolences with me. My classmates at the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) in Japan did the same thing when my relatives passed away. My Japanese colleagues have good feelings for Uncle Ho and General Vo Nguyen Giap”, said Hung.

Translated by Van Hieu

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