September 16

1945

President Ho Chi Minh received Chinese General Lu Han, the commander of the Nationalist Party’s troops who were entering North Vietnam. At that meeting, Lu Han forced the Vietnamese Government to provide Chinese troops food and means of communication and accept payment at an exchange rate based on China’s weakening currency.

After the meeting, the President changed the name “Liberation Army” into “National Defense Army” to avoid provocations and keep the force intact.  

The same day, he wrote a “Letter to people of the country” on the launch of “Gold Week” initiated by patriotic businesspeople to raise money for the Independence Fund.

The letter read: “The consolidation of our independence requires people’s sacrifice and effort and donations, particularly from wealthy people. That is the significance of the Gold Week -- to collect gold donated by the public to use for urgent tasks, including defense, which is the most important duty at present.

“The Gold Week helps our people and the world know clearly that while Viet Minh (League for the Vietnamese Revolution) soldiers are fighting resolutely on all fronts until their last drop of blood to safeguard the fatherland’s independence and freedom, people in the rear are donating gold to serve the needs of the country.”

President Ho Chi Minh (front, sitting) during a visit in 1950 to the Dong Khe front in the northern Cao Bang Province, where the Border Campaign started (File photo)

1946

The President left Paris by train for Marseille where he wrapped up his visit to France. He thanked French officials for seeing him off. He also advised Vietnamese living in France to put confidence on the Preliminary Accord, maintain unity, give support to the Vietnamese Government’s policies, and court the support of the French people.

Before the train left, he said: “I leave here but my heart will always remain close to my compatriots living here.”

1948

In a letter to children during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the President wrote: “When the resistance war achieves success, bringing independence and unification to our country, you and I will get together to celebrate Mid-Autumn to make up for the hardship we have suffered. I wish all of you good health and happiness. I send kisses to all of you.” 

1950

The President visited the Dong Khe front in the northern Cao Bang Province, where the Border Campaign started. He visited Regiment 296 there and asked the unit to “win the first battle of the campaign.”

The same day he returned to the rear and met Chinese military advisor Chen Geng, to whom he presented a poem of his titled “Climbing up the mountain.”

“Leaning against a stick, climbing the mountain to see the battlefield
Finding innumerable mountains support endless cloud
Like our forces’ impetus overwhelming Taurus and the Great Bear
With determination to defeat brutal invaders.”

1953

In the “Mid-Autumn poem for children” on Nhan Dan (The People) newspaper, the President wrote:

"Nine Mid-Autumn festivals passed along with eight years of resistance
Finding the nation’s children growing up, I am very happy.
Through this poem I send my kisses to all of you.
This Autumn is more significant than the previous ones,
With victories in the resistance having multiplied.
Everywhere, east, west, south and north
The news of victory flew with the red flag
As you have fun, I am very excited, too.
Hoping for much more happiness next autumn."

Translated by Truc Thinh

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