Last update: 15:42 | 19/04/2018
A special exhibition on mementoes featuring Vietnam’s resistance wars opened to the public on April 18 in Hoa Lo prison, Hanoi, providing a chance for not only Vietnamese people but also foreigners to get an insight into the Vietnamese victory to gain independence and freedom.
“Bare feet, steely will” is the theme of the exhibition, telling the story of the will and the courage of elite people who had entered in the war with their “bare feet” and fight against the enemy by their “steely will”.
That people had extraordinary strength to overcome difficulties and challenges, bearing the iron will to win and the faith in their country without any self interest, following their chosen path of revolution wholeheartedly.
“The exhibition is a meaningful activity and its theme is absolutely right for our time,” Major General Huynh Dac Huong, who has presented more than 20 mementoes to Hoa Lo Prison Museum, told Vietnam News Agency.
“How much pain and sorrow, but it can’t shake the will and determination of Vietnamese people who always thirst for peace,” Huong, who fought in the two resistance wars against the French colonialists and the US imperialists.
Over 250 war mementoes being displayed including photos, documents and items along with stories about the wars, were presented by Vietnamese war veterans who fought in the resistance wars.
The exhibits manifest the Vietnamese soldiers’ courage which contributed to glorious victories from the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, to the victory in the cause of liberation of the South and the reunification of the country in 1975.
“I presented these war mementoes because I know the prison is a good place for preserving precious historical documents, showing Vietnamese soldiers’ steely will which greatly contributed to the victory of the revolution,” Huong said.
“This exhibition attributes characteristics of the Vietnamese people that foreigners gradually learn to respect and that’s not only the soldiers but the people really have the steel will,” said Chuck Searcy, President of the Veteran for Peace’s Hoa Binh Chapter 160 in Hanoi, a visitor to the event.
“They (soldiers) are committed to the country’s independence, freedom, and any foreign armies and invaders occupying nations should think twice before trying to take over Vietnam. So it’s very useful exhibition which shows the strength of a lot of people who were heroes of the country”.
“We never supported the Vietnamese War,” said Kevin Zehner, another visitor from New Mexico City, the US. “I was 17-18 when the war was being fought. Many American didn’t believe in the war. Unfortunately, all that happened.”
The exhibition contributed to proving the fierceness of the resistance wars, the courage and wisdom of Vietnamese soldiers and people, thus nurturing the national pride among younger generations.
Hoa Lo prison was built by the French in 1896 to jail Vietnamese patriots. It was also used to hold US pilots grounded by the Vietnamese armed forces during the American air war against North Vietnam in the 1960's and early 1970's. The prison was dubbed by American inmates as "Hanoi Hilton".
Today, the site mostly memorializes the suffering of Vietnamese revolutionary martyrs before 1954, and glosses over the other periods.
Exhibition “Bare feet, steely will” is being held at Hoa Lo Prison Museum, Hanoi
Mementoes are displayed at the exhibition
Major General Huynh Duc Huong (right) tells about one of his war mementoes presented for displaying at Hoa Lo Prison Museum (Photo: VNA)
Exhibition attracts much interest of foreign visitors