PANO – Over the past years, the small house of former soldier Bui Dinh Thu in Chi Tien commune, Thanh Ba district, Phu Tho province, with thousands of war objects relating to the resistance wars has been the venue for war veterans and locals, especially young people.
Especially, on the occasion of important events of the nation such as the liberation of the south and national reunification day (April 30th), the Dien Bien Phu Victory (May 7th), National Day (September 2nd), the founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army or the lunar New Year festival, Thu’s small “museum” welcomes visitors of different ages and the owner enthusiastically and proudly introduces guests to the origin, significance, and stories of each item. He feels happy as more and more students from local schools in Phu Tho province as well as cultural researchers are coming to his small museum to learn about his collection of war objects.
Holding an aluminum mug with the slogan “Determined to drive US troops out of the country”, Hung said that the mug belonged to a troop in Nang Yen commune, Thanh Ba district, who sacrificed his life in the fight to protect Quang Tri Ancient Citadel in 1972.
These items, including an old bidon, padded waistcoats, a 15W military signals machine, and a faded broad-brimmed hat have been collected and arranged by Thu and his wife over the past 20 years with the hope to help war veterans, locals, and students learn about the nation’s history and revolutionary tradition.
On display are many items with historical significance, such as the first copies of newspapers in the resistance wars against French and American invaders, a liberation flag, a radio, padded waistcoats, fragments of US aircraft shot down by Vietnamese troops and people, an operational map of the US troops, Vietnamese youths’ petitions to voluntarily join the army and their letters to their families, diaries, and the belongings of fallen soldiers.
Talking about his inspiration, the former soldier said that he collected war artifacts to indulge his passion for helping local young people understand the revolutionary tradition, the hardship and sacrifices of former generations, as well as to pay gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives for national independence.
Thu joined the army in February, 1972 at the age of 20. After three-months training in Dong Hy district, Thai Nguyen province, Thu and his comrades went to the southern front and took part in many fierce battles. In the fierce battle in April 1974 in Bong Mountain in Binh-Tri-Thien battlefield, Thu was wounded and moved to the rear for treatment. In 1975, he was discharged from the army and has since received a monthly allowance from the government.
Over the past 20 years, Thu used his own money and rode his old bicycle to different localities across the country to visit old battlefields and meet his comrades, and also to seek more invaluable exhibits for his “museum”.
The Secretary of Youth Committee of Chi Tien commune Do Khac Duoc said that the exhibited items help encourage young people like him to contribute their talents and ability to the national construction and defense cause. “Through the exhibits, we, those who were born in peacetime, learn about the enormous sacrifices of former generations to gain independence, freedom, and happiness for the present ones. They also remind us to promote studying to deserve those sacrifices and contributions”, said Nguyen Van Trang, a student from Chi Tien Secondary School in Thanh Ba district.
The old former soldier showed his determination to collect more items to turn his small museum into a historical place for young generations and hoped to receive more assistance from local party committee and authorities.
Translated by Tran Hoai
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