VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam is paying last tribute to General Vo Nguyen Giap whose name was closely linked to the nation’s two resistance wars against French and American aggression in the 20th century.
The two-day national funeral ceremony for General Vo Nguyen Giap officially started from 12am October 11 and will last untill 12am on October 13. The state funeral was marked by the half-mast flag ceremony at the Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi. Half-mast flags are also hung at all government agencies and many private houses throughout the country. During the national mourning days, all entertainment activities will be suspended.
The most important activities during the two days of national mourning ceremonies are the memorial service on October 12 at the National Funeral Home (No. 5, Tran Thanh Tong, Hanoi) and the ceremony to move the General's coffin from Hanoi to Quang Binh and the burial ceremony in Quang Binh on October 13.
In the US, the memorial service was held at the Vietnam House in Washington DC
Senator Tom Harkin.
Senator Eni Faleomavaega.
In Dien Bien, the memorial service is held at A2 Hill, Muong Phang and the headquarters of the provincial military command.
In Thai Nguyen province, the second hometown of the General Vo Nguyen Giap, the memorial service began at 7.30am at the General Vo Nguyen Giap cottage, a relic in Bao Linh commune, Dinh Hoa District.
The Vietnamese embassy in Vientiane conducted a funeral in honour of General Vo Nguyen Giap.
In the funeral book, the PM expressed his deep sorrow at the Vietnamese General’s passing, noting that General Giap was an excellent student of late President Ho Chi Minh, who made a great contribution to Vietnam’s national liberation cause, as well as to cementing Vietnam-Laos relations.
Vietnam’s national flag and ASEAN’s flag were flown at half mast in front of the Vietnamese Embassy in Vientiane.
The embassy displayed photos featuring General Giap’s revolutionary life and special Vietnam-Laos relations.
A Lao Government delegation led by Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong showed his respect in front of General Giap’s altar.
Representatives of the Vietnamese community in Laos expressed their sorrow in the funeral book.
In Cambodia: A funeral service was held at the Vietnamese Embassy headquarters in Phnom Penh.
The Thai ambassador wrote in the funeral book.
The Cuban ambassador to Cambodia paid tribute to General Giap in Phnom Penh.
Foreign leaders pay homage to General Vo Nguyen Giap
Many leaders and representatives of foreign parties, states, governments and armies paid homage to General Vo Nguyen Giap at the funeral for the deceased in Hanoi on October 12.
They included General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President of Laos Choummaly Sayasone, Honorary Chairman of the Cambodian People’s Party and Chairman of the Cambodian National Assembly Heng Samrin.
A delegation of the foreign military attaches in Vietnam , and those Mozambique and Algeria also joined the funeral.
On Truong Sa islands: Soldiers and islanders have erected altars in honour of General Giap.
Vice Political Commissar Lieutenant Colonel Luong Xuan Giap said a funeral organising board had been established to coordinate the service.
The national flag was ordered flown at half-mast as of 12.00am on October 11 on Truong Sa Lon, Nam Yet Song Tu Tay and other islands of the Truong Sa archipelago.
All the islanders were saddened to hear about the general’s passing. This morning, they all gathered and paid their final respects to the general.
In Quang Binh Province, the General's hometown:
9.00: Despite the heavy rain, Quang
Binh province conducted a rehearsal transporting General Giap’s coffin from Dong
Hoi airport to Yen island.
9.00: Despite the heavy rain, Quang Binh province conducted a rehearsal transporting General Giap’s coffin from Dong Hoi airport to Yen island.
Shortly after the memorial service in Hanoi on October 13, a Vietnam Airlines plane will transport General Giap’s coffin to Dong Hoi airport.
The coffin will then be driven in a motorcade heading for Yen island, about 60km from Dong Hoi airport, for interment.
8.40: Thousands of people in HCM City clung to each other, entering the Thong Nhat (Reunification) Palace to pay tribute to General Giap.
Among them war veterans who joined battlefields in Dien Bien Phu and along the Truong Son Mountain Range in the second half of the 20th century.
8.30: Family members of General Giap left their private house in Hanoi for Quang Binh province to prepare for the interment on October 13.
General Giap will be buried at Yen island in Quang Binh province on October 13.
8.20: The funeral service is taking place in Quang Binh province – the hometown of General Giap.
A General Giap’s altar was solemnly erected inside the Quang Binh Provincial People’s Committee’s Conference Hall.
Despite heavy rains, thousands of local people converged on the Conference Hall to show their respect to the general.
From early morning, more than 1,000 people, including veterans, students, flocked to the People's Committee of Quang Binh Province to pay respect to General Vo Nguyen Giap.
Veterans carry portraits of General Giap to the memorial ceremony.
Pupils dressed in white carrying daisies to the mourning ceremony.
Representatives of the General's family at the mourning ceremony in Quang Binh province.
Quang Binh Provincial leaders laid a wreath in memory of General Vo Nguyen Giap.
The military band.
At the General's home in An Xa, Quang Binh province.
After paying their last respect to General Vo Nguyen Giap at the funeral in Hanoi on October 12, top leaders wrote praises in memory of the deceased.
In his notes, Party General Nguyen Phu Trong called General Giap “Anh Van” (Brother Van), describing him as a highly prestigious leader of the Vietnamese Party, State and people; an outstanding and close disciple of President Ho Chi Minh; a staunch revolutionary fighter; and a brilliant military commander.
“Your great name, career, humanity and contributions leave a deep imprint in the heart of the people and the nation’s history. We pledge to learn after your ideology, morality, style and example forever,” the Party leader wrote.
President Truong Tan Sang wrote: “The name of General Vo Nguyen Giap, a General of the people, loved and respected by the people, will remain forever in the national history.” He described the deceased as an icon of the Vietnamese revolutionary heroism who untiringly struggled for peace, national independence, democracy, social progress and friendship among the nations in the world.
“We pledge to, together with the whole Party, people and army, build a clean and firm Party, firmly defend the socialist Vietnam Motherland, and accomplish your life-long aspiration for the prosperous people, and a powerful, democratic, fair and civilised country,” the President wrote.
In memory of General Giap, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung wrote: “The Government will forever keep in mind your great contributions. We pledge to learn after you and fulfill the tasks assigned on us by the Party, the Motherland and the people.”
The Prime Minister also described the deceased as an outstanding son of the Vietnamese nation, a staunch communist, a highly prestigous leader of the Party, State and people, a close and outstanding disciple of President Ho Chi Minh.
For his part, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung expressed profound sorrow at the passing of General Giap, and condolences to his family.
7.55: Government leader Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Vice President Vu Trong Kim paid farewell to General Giap lying in state inside the funeral house.
They also observed a minute’s silence in commemoration of the revered General.
A Government delegation led by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung paid farewell to General Giap
7.40: State and National Assembly delegations led by State President Truong Tan Sang and NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung offered incense and filed past the casket.
The National Assembly delegation observed a minute's silence in front of the General's coffin
7.25: Deputy PM Phuc declared the start of the funeral service.
A Party Central Committee led by Party
General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong paid tribute to General Giap. They filed past
the coffin and shared sympathy with the General's family.
06.30: The organising board of the funeral led by Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc covered General Giap's coffin with the national flag
06.00: Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh inspected preparations for the funeral service
The state funeral service will begin at 7.30 am on October 12 and last till 21.00pm of the same day.
The whole morning will be reserved for senior leaders of the Party, State, National Assembly, Government, and the Vietnam Fatherland Front, and delegations of foreign countries, and diplomatic corps.
Half of the afternoon will be for delegations from ministries, agencies, provinces and cities.
Fellow Vietnamese countrymen from across the country will pay their last respects to the revered General in the last six hours.
The organising board of General Giap’s funeral said the funeral service may last till 23.00.
A system of giant LED screens has been installed outside the national funeral house in Hanoi for mourners to follow the event.
President Truong Tan Sang.
NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung.
PM Nguyen Tan Dung.
Former Party Secretary General Do Muoi and former Party Secretary General Le Kha Phieu.
Former Party General Secretaries Le Kha Phieu and Nong Duc Manh.
Lao President Mr. Choummaly Sayasone.
The LED screen outside the funeral
In HCM City
The mourning ceremony is held at the Thong Nhat (Reunification) Palace. From the early morning, thousands of people waited in front of the palace. The two first comers are female veterans Pham Thi Chung and Ngo Thi Huong, from Tan Phu Ward.
10.00: Thousands are thronging outside the Reunification Place in HCM City, showing their respects to the general.
Delegations of the Municipal Party People’s Committee, People’s Committee, People’s Council, Fatherland Front, various sectors, as well as of diplomatic corps and international organisations bid farewell to the General.
9.50: Officials, soldiers, and people of Dien Bien province offered incense to General Giap at his altars placed at the provincial’s Military Command and E2 Hill.
They expressed deep sorrow at the passing of General Giap whose name was closely associated with the resounding Dien Bien Phu victory over French colonialists about six decades ago.
Veterans Pham Thi Chung and Ngo Thi Huong.
The wife and son of late Party Secretary General Nguyen Van Linh.
General Vo Nguyen Giap was born on August 25, 1911 in Loc Thuy commune, Le Thuy District, Quang Binh province in central Vietnam.
He was former member of the Party’s Political Bureau, former Secretary of the Military Party Commission, former Deputy Prime Minister, former Minister of National Defence, and former Commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People’s Army.
He was globally respected for his great contribution to Vietnam‘s two past resistance wars, notably the resounding Dien Bien Phu victory over the French colonialists in 1954.
He was considered one of the world’s greatest military leaders.
General Giap was awarded the Gold Star Order, Ho Chi Minh Order, 70-year Party membership badge, and many other noble distinctions of Vietnam and foreign countries.