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Grand Parade Marks 40th Anniversary of End of Vietnam War
   2015-04-30 20:27:37    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo

Female members of the ethnic minorities militia force march during a military parade as part of the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam, April 30, 2015. [Photo: CFP]

Vietnam has commemorated the liberation of Saigon, an event which marked the end of the Vietnam War which plagued the country for over three decades.

A parade was held in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon.

Our reporter Guo Yan has the details.

 

Some 6,000 children, women, veterans and soldiers marched towards the Presidential Palace --known also as the Reunification Palace.

The celebration features patriotic songs and re-enactment dances.

Most of the spectators were war veterans and members of the ruling party.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung addressed the ceremony.

"I call on Vietnamese people at home and abroad to uphold the sense of patriotism, the tradition of humanity and tolerance; to rise above the past and differences; to sincerely engage in national reconciliation."

Phan Thi Thuy took part in the parade.

"I'm here today with many others and we are gathered to remember our country's memories. When I watch the reenactments, I am very touched by our nation's patriotism"

Also present were some of those who documented the deadly war, shocking international viewers who were previously unaware of the true horrors of conflict.

Tim Page is a former Vietnam War photographer.

"It's good to see Vietnam becoming robust, becoming strong, organized. I want to see the corruption gone."

The Liberation of Saigon not only marked the end of the war, but also a decade of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Political activist Tom Hayden was among the leaders of the anti-war movement at the time.

And He believes that the movement helped bring about change.

"You can tell from Vietnam there is a certain skepticism in America, what ever there religious disposition is. They do remember Vietnam, they do remember being sold a bill of goods and they remember all the boys that came back in body bags or limbless or had to go to the VA hospital that is underfunded. I think there is a healthy skepticism that would rise to the occasion if we got into a ground war big time."

Estimates of casualties during the Vietnam War reach into the millions.

The Vietnamese government has said it claimed the lives of up to 4 million people, while the U.S. Defense Ministry has said 58,000 U.S. troops were killed.

The war itself is remembered for having an extremely high percentage of civilian deaths.

For CRI I'm Guo Yan.
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