A grand ceremony saluting the 60th anniversary of Vietnam’s victory at Dien Bien Phu, which ended French colonial rule in the country, was held in Dien Bien Phu city in the northwestern province of Dien Bien in the morning of May 7.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, former Party General Secretaries Le Kha Phieu and Nong Duc Manh, State President Truong Tan Sang and former State President Tran Duc Luong were present at the celebration, among other distinguished guests.

Foreign guests included Lao Deputy Prime Minister Asang Laoly, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An and Mexican Labour Party National Coordinator Alberto Anaya Gutiérrez. Representatives from diplomatic corps and international organisations in Vietnam were also present.

Flower baskets were sent to the ceremony by former Party General Secretary Do Muoi, former State President Le Duc Anh, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung.

In his speech, President Sang expressed gratitude to late President Ho Chi Minh and late General Vo Nguyen Giap, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Vietnam People’s Army for their roles in the triumph at Dien Bien Phu. He also offered heartfelt thanks to the war heroes who sacrificed their lives for victory at Dien Bien Phu.

The President stated that the victory is an everlasting epic that extols the tradition of the nation’s glorious history, the sound leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, the aggregated strength of national unity and the determination to fight for national independence and freedom of the people and army.

He recounted that the successful campaign, which lasted for 56 days and nights, was launched after a decision was reached by the Politburo, President Ho Chi Minh and the Party’s Military Commission.

The triumph in the resistance war against the French demonstrates the nation’s undaunted spirit, the Party’s sound leadship, the nation’s great unity and international support, he stressed.

President Sang stated that the Dien Bien Phu triumph constituted a victory for the faithful and fraternal solidarity between the armies and peoples of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

He expressed thanks to the peoples from the former Soviet Union and China, as well as socialist countries around the world and oppressed nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America for their valuable assistance and support during the campaign. He said this was a common triumph for oppressed nations across the world.

President Sang also stressed the need for everyone to continue upholding the spirit of the Dien Bien Phu victory towards achieving new successes in national development, defence and reform. He called for soldiers and citizens in and outside the country to work together to bring prosperity to the country.

Representing thousands of war veterans and volunteers who served in the Dien Bien Phu campaign, former Artillery Colonel Phung Van Khau gave a speech in which he recalled the difficult time he spent with his comrades-in-arms in the operation.

The ceremony was followed by a parade of military units and ended with an artistic performance by 500 artists, featuring folk songs and dances from ethnic minority groups.-VNA