September 19


During his stay in France, Nguyen Ai Quoc attended a meeting of about thirty people at the Maison de Balzac Museum in Paris.

French spies kept tabs on the meeting.

At Gieng Temple, in the northern province of Phu Tho, President Ho Chi Minh talks with Pioneer Brigade soldiers, who are to take control of Hanoi, on September 19, 1954 (File photo)


In “The Government is the public servant to the people” in Cuu Quoc (National Salvation) magazine under the pseudonym Chien Thang (Victory), President Ho Chi Minh wrote: “Our government plays a role as the eldest brother in a family, a leader in a local authority, and a person who bears full responsibility for the nation’s issues. It is a force that the people can put their trust in and entrust their fate to.

“Ancient people said that ‘a mandarin is a servant to the public,’ so we can now say the same, ‘the government is the servant to the people.’ Everything the government does must be aimed to the only goal that is to create freedom and happiness for every person. A people’s government must put the people’s rights and interests above anything else. What benefits the public must be done. What may be harmful to the people must be avoided.

“In brief, a people’s committee is the one whose duty is to enforce the people’s freedom and democratic rights. That committee must behave in accordance with the spirit of freedom and democracy.”


On the way home aboard the French battleship Dumont D’Urville, President Ho Chi Minh sent a telegraph to Indian Congress President Pandit Nehru, saying: “On behalf of the Vietnamese people, I kindly give my friendship greetings to you, your government and the great Indian people.”

The same day, in a congratulatory message to Mahatma Gandhi, the President wrote: “Please accept my warm congratulations on your 77th birthday and I wish you to live twice as long as your current age.”


In a letter to the Midland Conference, the President wrote: “Our people – from male to female, from old to young, and even children – have a profound patriotism and are ready to fight the enemy.

“It is a must to turn midland provinces into a solid defensive front for us and an immense cemetery for the enemy.”

The President also sent a “Letter to the soldiers’ mothers in Inter-region IV,” saying: “While our soldiers are willing to sacrifice being with their family and give up their life for fighting the enemy, saving the country and protecting the people, elderly people in the rear are giving their love to soldiers, as if they were their own children. Thus, those elderly people are directly taking part in the resistance war.

“Not only soldiers but also the Government and I are grateful to you elderly people. I hope the everywhere in the country – in regions, provinces and even villages – have a union of soldiers’ mothers. To deserve the mothers’ love and requite that love, soldiers must strive to kill as many invaders as possible, seize as many weapons of theirs as possible, and achieve many glorious feats of arms.”


The President visited the Hung Kings’ Temple in the northern province of Phu Tho.

He also called at Gieng Temple, where he met soldiers of the Pioneer Brigade that was advancing on Hanoi to take control of it. He said: “We met here by accident but this meeting is of great significance. In the old days, the Hung Kings had the merit of founding the country. You and I must stick together to safeguard it.

“Experiencing so many periods of struggle, our predecessors managed to safeguard the capital. Today, after eight or nine years of determination to resist against the enemy, our soldiers have won the war and can return to Hanoi. Therefore, it is a great honor for you to be assigned by the Government to take over the capital.”

By Duong Trung Quoc and his assistants
The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly

Translated by Truc Thinh

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