War veteran To Van On-a soldier on all fronts

(VOVworld) – 40 years have passed but the image of Vietnamese soldiers liberating Sai Gon on April 30, 1975, has remained vivid in the minds of many Vietnamese people. Many soldiers died on the day Vietnam was reunited. Others were lucky enough to survive and return to their family and make contributions to their hometown. One of them, To Van On, is now Vice President of the War Veterans’ Association of Cu Chi district, HCM city. VOV reports:

Mr. On was born into a revolutionary family in Cu Chi, a place that has been called the “land of steel”. His father died fighting the French colonialists. Taking on his family’s tradition, On joined the revolution when he was young. The proudest moment of his military career was to be one of the soldiers who liberated Sai Gon-Gia Dinh on April 30, 1975. On said: “I was proud to be among the soldiers taking part in this battle. When we passed through liberated communes, people were happy to see our artillery and tanks and they all believed in a victory.”

On said words could not express their joy on the day southern Vietnam was liberated, which eventually led to Vietnam’s reunification: “After we seized Dong Du base, we received the order to enter Sai Gon. Our tanks were carrying the liberation flag. At 10AM on April 30, President of the former Sai Gon regime Duong Van Minh announced his surrender on the radio. We gave each prisoner a book about the leniency of the National Liberation Front.”

War veteran To Van On-a soldier on all fronts - ảnh 1

After 40 years, On still has his memorabilia of the war. These include letters of his former comrades to their families, pictures taken when he was in areas of resistance and on the days after Vietnam was reunified, a water container, and a certificate of merit of a soldier he never met. Bombs devastated his homeland Cu Chi, but not his memory: “Some of my friends died just one day before liberation day. I often listened to the radio to get updates on which places had been liberated.”

On found himself lucky enough to survive the war and has vowed to live a life worthy of his comrades’ sacrifice.

One of On’s four children, To Thi Chau, was born while he and his comrades were marching to Sai Gon-Gia Dinh. Chau said: “I cried a lot when I was born and my mother thought it was a bad omen. She was afraid that I would not be able to see my father if he died. My family was reunited after Sai Gon was liberated on April 30, 1975.”

To Thi Nhung, On’s youngest daughter, is now Vice-president of the People’s Council of Trung Lap Thuong commune, Cu Chi district. She said she has always been proud of her father and wants to follow in his footsteps: “I’m proud of what my father did for the country. He set an example for us to follow.”