Bitterness lies beneath Vietnam's celebration
Monday 01 May 2000
Vietnam mounted a triumphal display of communist pageantry yesterday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War but the festivities came amid disquiet about the future.
Thousands of veterans, serving troops and children hailed the victory in a two-hour celebration in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. Revolutionary music and folk songs boomed through loudspeakers as trucks carried past floats of Ho Chi Minh, the former leader. Officials paid tribute to the 3 million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed; 58,000 US troops also died.
While the theme of the 20th anniversary of the war's end was reconciliation, five years later Hanoi has sharpened rhetoric about US brutality.John McCain, who competed with George Bush Jr this year for the Republican presidential nomination, suggested on Friday that the "wrong guys won". Hanoi retorted by accusing the US of "horrendous crimes". The exchange exposed the bitterness that remains despite efforts to foster relations between Hanoi and Washington. The White House indicated that President Bill Clinton may visit in November, when he will be in South-East Asia for a trade summit.
Mr McCain, who spent five years as a prisoner in Vietnam after his plane was shot down, said such a visit may be premature. "I still bear them ill-will," he said after visiting the site of the "Hanoi Hilton", where he was held. "Not because of what they did to me but because of what they did to some of my friends, including killing some of them".
In Washington the anniversary of the fall of Saigon passed with muted observances at the Vietnam veterans' memorial, a wall bearing the names of the American dead. Veterans were at the wall at dawn on Saturday to wash it. They included Michael Lay, 52, who served as a medic in the US Army. "I feel like I've just cleaned up my guys. Close your eyes, and 25 years is only a breath away."
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...
£110 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers required fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...