[Vietnam News, 1 May 2015] Vietnam News has published an article dated, 30 April 2015 titled, Viet Nam marks 40th anniversary of great victory, reunification.

The original article can be viewed by clicking here. An edited extract appears below.

HCM CITY (VNS) — A spectacular ceremony with a parade involving nearly 6,000 soldiers, militia, and civilians took place early on April 30 in HCM City to mark the 40th anniversary of the liberation of southern Việt Nam and national reunification.

The celebration to mark the victory over the US aggressors was attended by Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phu Trong, President Truong Tan Sang, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung, former national leaders, and leaders of HCM City and many provinces.

Also in attendance were delegates from Cambodia, Cuba, and Laos, veterans who had fought to liberate the city 40 years ago, and overseas Vietnamese.

Personnel from 38 military and civilian units, including the Army, Air Force, Navy, commandos, police, mobile police, and others marched from the zoo and past the dais on Le Duan Street before splitting up to enter Ton Duc Thang Street or Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street after a flag-hoisting ceremony and music and dance performances.

The parade, watched by more than 10,000 people and covered by hundreds of local and international journalists, was conducted by Lieutenant General Nguyen Quoc Khanh, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Viet Nam People’s Army.

In his opening speech, Dung said: “The great victory in spring 1975 is a glorious chapter in our great history of national construction and defence.

“With that victory, we accomplished a historic mission of liberating the South and reunifying the country, bringing Viet Nam into a new era – an era of independence and reunification and building socialist Viet Nam into a strong nation with wealthy people and a democratic, just and civilised society.”

The Prime Minister, on behalf of the Party, State, people and Army, paid tributes to President Ho Chi Minh, a hero of the nation’s liberation, heroic martyrs and other comrades and compatriots who had sacrificed and dedicated their whole lives to the struggle for independence, freedom and reunification.

In 30 years of reforms Viet Nam had achieved things of historical significance, he said.

From being an underdeveloped nation, the country had become a middle-income, developing country with an annual average growth rate of 7 per cent, and its economic structure had transformed positively, he said.

The economy grew consistently and GDP per capita currently was US$2,200, he said.

The economic and social infrastructure had developed strongly with many modern projects, creating a new image for the country, he said.

Social development, justice, cultural development and the building of new rural areas had also seen progress, he said.

Social security was basically ensured, social welfare and people’s living standards had greatly improved and poverty had fallen sharply to less than 6 per cent, he said.

Viet Nam had fulfilled most of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule, he added…

Tim Page was an American war correspondent during the Viet Nam War. Back now for the 40th anniversary… he told Viet Nam News: “When I first came back to Viet Nam 35 years ago, everybody was hungry. There were only two restaurants in Ha Noi. Today, they are even making BMWs in Ha Noi…”

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