Vietnam is preparing to celebrate 30 years since the end of what is referred to there as the ‘American war’.In what was once called Saigon, and is now Ho Chi Minh City, a parade and fireworks display will mark the moment when the US-backed regime fell on April 30th, 1975. Vietnam has remained a Communist-ruled country ever since. “I was born after the war, so I only know it from history. But I’m glad because this anniversary’s a huge celebration. We feel proud of the victory achieved by our ancestors,” said one man. It is not just the young people who feel that way. One veteran said: “I was really proud. When Saigon was liberated I was working away from the city, I cried when I heard the news on April 30th.” Some others are thinking more about Vietnam’s future. “People’s lives are stable now, not like the tough times during the war. Now we’re focusing on our studies to build the country in the future,” said a young girl. More than 58,000 Americans and up to two million Vietnamese died during the war, but despite the scars of a bitter conflict, relations are improving. Hanoi is keen that the celebrations do not overshadow its wider ambitions to capitalise on its growing economy.