A memorial service for General Vo Nguyen Giap, who was former Politburo member, Secretary of the Central Military Commission, Standing Deputy Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Commander-in-Chief of the Vietnam People’s Army, deputies from the first to seventh National Assembly, was held solemnly at the national morgue at 5 Le Thanh Tong street, Hanoi on October 13.

Early in the morning, the leaders of the Party, State, Government and National Assembly, former Party and State leaders, armed forces, international friends and thousands of Vietnamese from all walks of life gathered to bid farewell to legendary General Vo Nguyen Giap, an icon in Vietnam and around the world.

Among foreign leaders at the event were 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.

Army officers in white uniforms stood to attention at General Giap’s casket, over which a large photographic portrait of General Giap was displayed along with many of his orders and military medals as incense wafted through the air.

In a moving eulogy, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, head of the national funeral committee, described General Vo Nguyen Giap as a prestigious leader of the Vietnamese Party, State and people, an excellent student of President Ho Chi Minh, steadfast revolutionary fighter; the first General of the Vietnam Peoples’ Army.

The Party leader expressed General Giap’s death was great loss to the Party, State, people and his family, leaving behind the boundless grief of comrades, fellow countrymen and international friends.

Reviewing the Giap’s revolutionary life, the General Secretary said General Giap with over 80 years of revolutionary activities worked tirelessly and made great contribution to the cause glorious revolutionary cause of the Party and the nation.

The name of General Giap went along with Vietnam’s glorious triumph of the two resistance wars against the French colonialists and US imperialists and with the national construction and defence cause.

During the building of socialism, in any position, General Giap devoted all of his ardour and contributed many important opinions to the country’s major issues, especially in the fields of science and technology, education and training, defence and security, as well as in the promotion of external relations.

For the international revolutionary movement, the General’s dedication was a great encouragement for the struggles for peace, national independence and social progress, and against oppression, exploitation and injustice in colonial countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

His name has been honoured by the world and admired by the progressive and peace-loving people.

The Vietnamese Party, State and people highly valued the merits of General Giap, who is honoured as the eldest brother of the Vietnam People’s Army. His personality and tremendous contributions are imprinted on the mind of Vietnamese people. He is a general of the people and his name will go down into Vietnamese history forever.

A military band played Requiem for Fallen Soldier (Hon Si Tu), the delegates observed a minute of silence in memory of General Giap, an excellent and close student of President Ho Chi Minh and a loyal revolutionist whose talent and morality have become the trust and pride of the Vietnamese nation.

On behalf of General Giap’s family, his eldest son, Vo Dien Bien, expressed his deep gratitude to the Party, State, Government, Fatherland Front, army and people nationwide as well as representatives from foreign countries, diplomatic corps and international organisations, and global friends for their warm sentiments towards the General.

He also thanked professors, doctors, nurses and staff of the Central Military Hospital 108 for their whole-hearted care for his father until he drew his last breath.

General Giap devoted his whole life to the nation and people, when leaving us his spirit which would definitely merge into millions Vietnamese’s spirits, creating a solid strength and power base for turning Vietnam into a powerful and prosperous nation.

After Party leader’s eulogy, mourners filed past the casket and it began as a gun carriage that is followed by a howitzer firing left the national morgue to Giap’s residence and to the airport.

Thousands of Vietnamese mourners lined the streets of Hanoi as the gun carriage pulled the flag draped coffin of General Giap to proceed slowly from the national morgue through streets of Hanoi to the Noi Bai airport from where it will be taken to Quang Binh, his native land, for burial service.-VNA