War letters illustrate Vietnamese people’s aspiration for peace

(VOVWORLD) -  “War Letters”, an outstanding book by Colonel Dang Vuong Hung, was honored during the 70th anniversary of War Invalids and Martyrs Day on July 27. The book was written to demonstrate the Vietnamese people’s aspiration for peace and teach the younger generation about patriotism.
War letters illustrate Vietnamese people’s aspiration for peace - ảnh 1War letters are gathered by Colonel Dang Vuong Hung. (Photo: Colonel Dang Vuong Hung/VNA)

“War Letters”, the result of a decade-long campaign to collect war letters and diaries, was published on April 30, 2015, on the 40th anniversary of Unification Day. This is a compilation of 300 letters by 127 people, including farmers, workers, soldiers, and a President, who had one thing in common—they all lived through war.

Author Dang Vuong Hung recalled: “After a meeting with an American collector of war letters in 2004, I came up with the idea of collecting letters and diaries written during Vietnam’s resistance wars. Tens of thousands of letters and diaries were sent to me by relatives of the writers.”
War letters illustrate Vietnamese people’s aspiration for peace - ảnh 2The letters and envelops of the wartime. (Photo: Colonel Dang Vuong Hung/VNA) 

The countless pieces of correspondence between soldiers on the battlefield and their loved ones back home are precious mementoes of Vietnam’s glorious resistance against foreign invaders.

Historian Duong Trung Quoc told VOV: “History is created by humans. Those lightweight letters carry huge historical weight. They tell young people about a long period of Vietnamese history”.  

War letters illustrate Vietnamese people’s aspiration for peace - ảnh 3War veterans and martyrs' relatives receive gifts. (Photo: Ngoc Anh/ VOV)

The letters depict the love between couples, family members, and comrades-in-arms, the hardships created by the war, and the Vietnamese people’s staunch spirit to fight for national liberation.

Major General Phan Van Lai, Hero of the People's Armed Forces, recalled: “My comrades and I were always moved to tears whenever we received a letter from home. We missed and loved our wives and children so much. But patriotism overcame all sentimental feelings. War letters remind us of the great patriotic wars”.

War letters illustrate Vietnamese people’s aspiration for peace - ảnh 4 A workshop is held to discuss the cultural and historical values of war letters. (Photo: Ngoc Anh/VOV)

The letters were written on anything available—paper, cigarette packs, even soldiers’ hats and clothing. These historical mementoes of the tough yet glorious wartime show the younger generation how their predecessors viewed this historic period and its effect on their lives. The letters are a source of inspiration for young people to live better lives.

Professor Hoang Chuong, Director of the Research Centre for Preservation and Development of National Culture, said: “I think the war letters embrace both cultural and historical values. Through these letters, people today can better understand Vietnam’s history and their predecessors’ sacrifices”.

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