The "Hanoi - Dien Bien Phu in the air" victory at the end of 1972 was one of the great feats-of-arms of Vietnam in the fight against foreign invaders. That victory destroyed the U.S.’s strategic air raids called Operation Linebacker II in an attempt to shake Hanoi “to its core.” The victory forced the U.S. government to stop bombing the North, sign the Paris Peace Accords on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam, and withdraw all of its troops home, creating a historical turning point for the complete victory in the resistance war against the U.S. imperialists for national salvation of our troops and people.

The wreckage of a B-52 in Huu Tiep lake in Ngoc Ha ward, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi.

Half a century has passed. Numerous military experts in the world are still studying and explaining the strength of the Vietnamese nation that made the unprecedented victory. International friends often mention this resounding victory during their meeting and exchanging with Vietnamese people. That makes us so proud!

There are many reasons for the "Hanoi - Dien Bien Phu in the air" victory. First of all, it was the strategic vision, right policy, ingenious and wise leadership of President Ho Chi Minh, the Politburo, the Central Military Commission, the Central Military Commission, the early forecast and active preparations because “sooner or later, the U.S. will use B-52s to attack Hanoi and give in if it loses.” It was also the whole-hearted support from international friends, the excellent direction of the High Command and the Air Defense - Air Force Service to form the people's air defense posture, unique air defense strategies, maximize the effectiveness of all forces and materiel. The decisive factor was our troops and people’s spirit of determination to fight, determination to win, the will to fight bravely, smartly and creatively, as well as the readiness to sacrifice for the Fatherland. This continuously helped down dozens of B-52 bombers, shocking the U.S. military and making our troops and people admired.

In short, that unique victory was the symbol of bravery, intelligence and revolutionary heroism of Vietnam.

Reminiscing about the resounding victory in the sky of Hanoi five decades ago, we better understand the value of peace, independence, and unification. We never forget the wholehearted assistance of international friends, and we show more respect and gratitude to brave people who made it.

Recalling the victory also helps the entire Vietnamese nation forever remember and promote the spirit, bravery, intelligence and revolutionary heroism, creatively and effectively apply valuable lessons drawn from the victory to today’s national construction and defense cause, and inspires them to obtain more victories to deserve the great merits of the older generation.

The 13th National Party Congress was determined to continue to comprehensively and synchronously promote the renewal cause, develop the country in a rapid and sustainable manner for the goal of making Vietnam a strong country with prosperous people and a fair, democratic and civilized society.

The party congress also affirmed that defense and security consolidation and firm protection of the Fatherland are the main and regular duties of the Party, the State, the political system and people, in which, the People’s Army and the People’s Public Security are the core to resolutely, steadfastly and firmly safeguard the Fatherland in association with maintaining an environment of peace and stability for national development.

Proud of the older generation’s resiliently fighting B-52 bombers, each Vietnamese needs to uphold the spirit of solidarity, national pride, efforts, creativity, and actively contribute to the national building and protection cause, the building of a strong Vietnam, thus further raising the country’s position and prestige.

Promoting the traditions of a heroic military of a heroic nation and imbued with valuable lessons, the bravery, the will to fight resiliently, smartly and creatively of our troops and people in the “Hanoi - Dien Bien Phu in the air” victory, officers and soldiers in the military always heighten revolutionary vigilance, stay ready to gain victories in any situations. The cause of military and Fatherland building in the new situation requires each military personnel to exert utmost efforts to improve themselves and their units, to build a revolutionary, standardized, elite, modernized military, and to excellently complete all duties in any conditions and circumstances.

Continuing to achieve more feats-of-arms and create more miracles should become the aspiration of every Vietnamese today, so that  future generations will be proud of and  remember.

By the People’s Army Newspaper’s Editorial Board

Translated by Mai Huong