Vietnam has been celebrating the 30th anniversary of the end of what it calls the “American War.” It was on April 30, 1975 that communist North Vietnamese forces fighting the US-backed regime in the south captured Saigon. The southern capital is now renamed Ho Chi Minh City.
Liberation Day events there on Saturday included a parade for veterans from the conflict that killed an estimated three million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans. One veteran said: “The victory of the fierce war against the US to liberate the South for national unity is our honour and pride, especially to veterans like us.” Before the celebrations, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai urged all sides put the past behind them.
In a sign of how things have changed, many floats in Saturday’s parades were sponsored by American companies. The US is now Vietnam’s biggest trading partner.