French friends’ memories of President Ho Chi Minh

Thursday, 2016-05-19 17:38:34
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French friends pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his monument in the Montreuil Park on the occasion of his 125th birthday in 2015.
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NDO - Talking about President Ho Chi Minh, French friends of the Vietnamese people express their admiration for the beloved leader.

Unforgettable memories of Uncle Ho live in the heart of Raymonde Dien, a member of the Communist Party of France, who lied on the railway to stop a train carrying weapons to Vietnam on February 23, 1950. She insisted that such action was for Vietnam's independence and freedom. Though she could not speak much due to her old age and poor health, Dien kept repeating that Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh were always in her heart.

Dien's daughter Catherine said often when her mother talks about Vietnam, she mentions a memory of meeting with Uncle Ho and her invaluable mementoes - a watch and a bracelet - gifts from President Ho Chi Minh during her visit to Vietnam in 1956. She described her meeting with President Ho Chi Minh was an extremely happy moment in her life. For my mother, Vietnam is a symbol of noble heroism and an aspiration for freedom and independence, which she considered the most important values of every nation in this world, Catherine said, adding that her mother still admires President Ho Chi Minh, who had wholeheartedly served the nation and the people. A few days ago, when her mother opened the book ‘Raymonde Dien, Life of a Fighter for Peace’, she was extremely moved when recalling the sacrifices and losses the Vietnamese people suffered.

The Vietnamese Embassy in France held a ceremony on February 4 to receive a memento of President Ho Chi Minh: a hat the Vietnamese leader presented to late French professor Pierre Biquard in 1969. The hat was presented at a reception hosted by President Ho at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi in January 2, 1969 for a delegation of the Peace Movement in France, on a visit to Vietnam to voice their support for Vietnamese people’s struggle against the US. Noticing that Biquard, a member of the delegation, did not bring along a hat while the weather was quite cold, President Ho Chi Minh gave his hat to the French guest. Since then, Biquard has carefully kept the hat as an unforgettable memory of the Vietnam visit and Uncle Ho. After his death, Biquard’s daughter, Claire Biquard presented the hat to the Ho Chi Minh Museum through the Vietnamese Embassy in France.

His daughter Claire said that all of her family members treasured the memento, revealing that their father was always touched when recalling his meeting with President Ho, a modest and caring person. Now the hat has returned to Vietnam to continue sharing the story of the meaning of modest, sacrifice and the spirit of pure internationalism. Claire said her family is looking forward to visiting Vietnam in the near future to learn more stories about the great leader of Vietnam. The display of the memento is expected to help Vietnamese people and international friends have a deeper understanding of President Ho Chi Minh’s sentiments toward the French, including Pierre Biquard, who passionately supported the Vietnamese people’s struggle for national independence, peace and unification.

Michèle Boubé, a local in the city of Montreuil who knows a lot about President Ho Chi Minh, said whenever he has a chance to visit the Montreuil Historical Museum he comes to the exhibition section on President Ho Chi Minh. He said the exhibits here showed the spirit of resilience of Nguyen Ai Quoc who came to France in the early 20th century on s journey for national salvation. He then came back to France in 1946 for the Fontainebleau Conference. Boubé noted that he and many people in France admired the Vietnamese people’s fight for national independence and freedom led by President Ho Chi Minh. President Ho is not only one of the greatest characters of the 20th century, but also a leader with incredible virtues, while being simple but noble. He is represented as the perfect embodiment of the revolution for national liberation, a symbol of life, hope, sacrifice and triumph of the people of Vietnam.

Boubé went on to say that though people in France did not suffer from the war like the Vietnamese people did, many of them understand the Vietnamese people’s hardships and sacrifices to reach the final victory on April 30, 1975. The victory came from the spirit of patriotism, the will to fight for independence, freedom and national reunification that had been nurtured by President Ho Chi Minh. Many locals including Boubé feel proud that there is the monument of President Ho Chi Minh in the Montreuil Park.

Many years have gone by but the feelings and memories of French friends as well as peace-loving people around the world towards President Ho Chi Minh, a great leader of the Vietnamese people, have remained intact, and will last forever.

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