Laos' Minister of National Defence at the event (Photo: VNA)
   

Vientiane (VNA) – A photo exhibition featuring the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos during the 1961-1975 period, a symbol of Vietnam-Laos special solidarity, was opened in Vientiane, Laos on September 26, marking the 55 th anniversary of the Tay Truong Son (West Truong Son) road (1961-2016). 

Chairwoman of the Vietnam National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, who is paying an official visit to Laos , and Vice President of Laos Phankham Viphavan attended the event which was also participated by senior officials and war veterans of Vietnam and Laos . 

The 10-day event aims to highlight the priceless supports and contributions given by the Party, army and people of Laos to the successful national liberation and reunification carried out by Vietnam , as well as to the construction and preservation of the Tay Truong Son road which served that period, in particular. 

It helps educate Vietnamese and Lao officials, soldiers and people on the combat alliance in the past as well as the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries. 

Nearly 100 pictures taken by war reporters illuminate a glorious period in history of the people and armies of Vietnam and Laos when they fought together in the war against the US under the leadership of the Labour Party of Vietnam, now the Communist Party of Vietnam, and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. 

A map of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which was drawn up based on the historical documentaries as well as memories of Truong Son soldiers, is also displayed for the first time. 

Speaking at the event, Lao Minister of Defence Chansamone Chanylath stressed that many Vietnamese and Lao soldiers and people sacrificed their lives on the road for their countries’ independence and freedom. 

He expressed his hope that the exhibition will contribute to fostering the friendship and special solidarity between the two countries. 

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Ambassador to Lao Nguyen Manh Hung said that the Ho Chi Minh-Tay Truong Son Road constitutes a shining symbol of Laos ’s sacrifice and wholehearted support, and an everlasting monument of the special solidarity of the two nations. 

In May 1959, the Vietnam People’s Army formed Mission 559 and tasked it to build the Ho Chi Minh Trail as a supply route for southern battlefields to aim for ultimate national independence and reunification. 

Due to off-road terrains, the road was constructed entirely by hands and rudimentary equipment. 

In late 1960, at the permission of the Lao side, the Ho Chi Minh Trail was expanded beyond the Vietnam-Laos border to the west of Truong Son Range , which lies on the Lao territory. 

From 1961 to 1975, with an iron will and strong determination, the armies and people of Vietnam and Laos together built thousands of kilometers of roads to connect the north of Vietnam, the central and northern regions of Laos, the Zone 5 and southeastern region of Vietnam, and northeastern Cambodia . 

Vietnam and Laos also aligned closely to ensure the operation of the strategic road that played a decision role in the victory against the US and significantly contributed to the 1975 victory of Vietnam and Laos . 

After the event, all the photos will be presented to the Lao Military History Museum in Vientiane for exhibition.-VNA