Vietnam war hero given state funeral

Farewell: Vietnamese president Truong Tan Sang, left, Communist party chiefs and soldiers carry the coffin of General Vo Nguyen Giap to an artillery cart at the National Funeral House in Hanoi
Vietnames President Truong Tan Sang along with prominent leaders of Vietnam and soldiers in white uniforms pay their respects to General Vo Nguyen Giap. Hundreds of thousands of people also gathered to witness the funeral procession of the Vietnam’s war hero.

Hundreds of thousands flooded the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, to give honor to the war hero responsible for many victories against the French and Americans.

The state of Vietnam held a funeral to bid their farewell to the military legend General Vo Nguyen Giap who served as the top military commander during the First and Second Indochina War. The Aljazeera reports that Giap died at the age of 102 last October 4, 2013.

He participated in many strategic and significant battles that won him the reverence of the Vietnamese and South East Asian Nations next to his mentor and leader, former President Ho Chi Minh.

Giap as A Leader

General Giap served as an interior minister during the Viet Minh government of President Ho Chi Minh. He also served as the military commander and defense minister of the Viet Minh. He is also known as the great commander of the Vietnam People’s Army or the PAVN. During the Vietnam War, he was hailed as the most prominent leader next to Ho Chi Minh. He is the architect of many successful major military operations including the Tet Offensive against the US forces in 1968 duri

He was in the leadership until the end of the war.

General Giap was not only a military leader. He was also a journalist. He served in the Political Bureau of the Vietnam Worker’s Party, which later on became the the Communist Party of Vietnam.

He was born the son of a rice grower in the province of Quang Binh. At the age of 14, he joined the nationalist movement.

Tribute to General Giap

His coffin was draped in a flag during the funeral. His portrait and medals also adorned his coffin. It was paraded in a funeral march on a lorry-drawn artillery carriage. As the carriage passed by the people, they chanted, “Long live General Vo Nguyen Giap!”

Vietnam Communist Party Chief, Nguyen Phu Trong, gave a eulogy for General Giap outside of the National Funeral Hall where Trong highlighted the leader’s great contributions.

“You, comrade, have made a great and excellent contribution to the revolutionary cause of our party and nation,” Nguyen said. “Your personality and your great contribution were strongly imprinted in the heart of the people.”

Giap’s elaborate funeral was a two-day ceremony.

Send-off: Soldiers place the coffin of General Vo Nguyen Giap on an artillery cart at the National Funeral House
Incense filled the area. General Giap’s coffin is covered in a red flag and taken on an artillery carriage. The family of the late leader wore black clothes and stood nearby.

After the funeral march in Hanoi, General Giap’s body was flown to his home town in the province of Quang Binh in Central Vietnam. More than a hundred thousand visitors flocked to his colonial villa in Hanoi to witness the homecoming.

Vietnamese soldiers don on their white uniforms. As they paid their final respects, the soldiers and the officials, notably Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President Truong Tan Sang, stood at attention.The general’s family also attended the ceremony wearing black to show their grief.

The day of his death, the Vietnamese flag outside of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum was also lowered to half-mast as the Vietnam’s symbol of mourning for an important national figure.



Siegphyl is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE