The 70th National Day was marked with a grand meeting and the largest-ever parade (Photo:VNA)

 

The 70th National Day was marked with a grand meeting and the largest-ever parade in the country at Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi September 2 morning.

The ceremony was attended by national leaders, including Party General Nguyen Phu Trong, President Truong Tan Sang, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan, among others.

Among foreign delegates present on the occasion, there were Lao Vice-President Bounnhang Vorachit and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An.

The meeting began at 7am with the lighting of a torch that was carried to the square from the nearby Ho Chi Minh Museum.

A 21-round salute was then fired from cannons stationed at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel during the flag saluting ceremony.

In his opening speech, President Truong Tan Sang affirmed that the birth of the Democratic of Vietnam in 1945 is a glorious milestone in the nation’s history of national building and defence, which marked the end of the colonial semi-feudal regime, turning Vietnam into an independent and free country.

“From then, our country, our nation began a new era, an era of national independence and socialism,” the President said.

He went on to say that over the past 70 years, the Vietnamese people have made great efforts and sacrifice to uphold their sacred vow at the independence declaration ceremony in 1945 that “the entire Vietnamese are determined to mobilize all their physical and mental strength, to sacrifice their lives and property in order to safeguard their independence and liberty.”

Immediately after the September 2 Independence Declaration, the young government and its people had to go through nine long years of struggle against the French and another 21 years of war against the US, to eventually regain independence and reunification of the entire country.

Right after that were the defending wars along the southwestern and northern borders, and until those wars ended, the Vietnamese people could live in real peace, the President said.

The President paid tribute to the late President Ho Chi Minh for leading the Vietnamese people to victory and to "millions of heroes – the outstanding sons of the country – who sacrificed their lives for the freedom and independence of our motherland."

"Vietnam is also deeply grateful for the help of our brotherly countries and the global support of many countries around the world during our fight to liberate and build our country," President Sang said.

He continued to say that Vietnam is getting not only huge opportunities to develop, but also challenges as international and regional situations keep shifting in an unexpected manner, especially in the sovereignty issue.

"Wars, racial conflicts, terrorism, uprising and sovereignty disputes are taking place across the world; in particular, the sea and islands dispute in the East Sea which is growing increasingly intense, and plots and activities of hostile forces aimed at undermining our State and regime are directly threatening our country’s peace, stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity," the President said.

In the country, the four threats pinpointed by the Party still exist, and some are even growing more serious, causing discontent among the public and affecting trust in the Party and the State, according to the President.

In such circumstances, President Sang called on the nation as a whole to foster patriotism and solidarity and work together to overcome the challenges.

He expressed strong belief that the Vietnamese nation, with a time-honoured culture and great traditions as well as accomplishments, will achieve new feats in the cause of building a strong country with prosperous people and democratic and equal society while firmly safeguard the beloved fatherland.

President Truong Tan Sang delivers a speech at the ceremony (Photo:VNA)

After the President’s speech, at least 30,000 troops and civilian units marched through Ba Dinh Square, the same historic place where President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence announcing the establishment of a free and independent Vietnam following the victory of the August Revolution (August 19, 1945).

The units then paraded through many Hanoi streets, where they were warmly welcomed by crowds of people waving flowers and flags.

The meeting and parade were broadcast live on the national television./.