Sunday, May 01, 2005

Vietnam's V-Day.....

Vietnam celebrated the 30th anniversary of the end of “The American War” on Saturday, baking a four-tonne cake for “Liberation Day babies” and staging a military parade without a real tank in sight.

The communist nation’s top leaders, as well as retired General Vo Nguyen Giap, the 94-year-old military chief whose tactics subdued first the French then the Americans, attended the key celebrations in the city known till the war ended as Saigon.

Breaking with the military ceremonies of past anniversaries, Vietnam — which once boasted one of the world’s most feared armies — this time mustered only a single fake wooden tank and no missiles as hundreds of soldiers made a march past.

Concerned that too visible a show of “triumphalism” could harm crucial economic ties with the United States, now Vietnam’s biggest trading partner, the country made sure that this year’s celebrations were as much about the future as the past.

On the eve of the anniversary, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai urged all sides involved in a conflict that killed two million Vietnamese and more than 58,000 Americans to close the past and look forward.

US troops withdrew from Vietnam two years before the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, but Washington supported the South Vietnamese administration until the end and established diplomatic relations with a united Vietnam only 10 years ago.

Try This: Another Brick in the Wall [Pink Floyd, The Wall]

Pics Courtesy: Deccan Herald

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