Farewell to Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap

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General Vo Nguyen Giap, one of the great military geniuses of the 20th century, was buried Sunday afternoon near his hometown in the north-central province of Quang Binh.  

He died at the age of 102 on October 4.

From very early Sunday morning, millions of people lined up in many streets of the capital city Hanoi to bid tearful farewells to their beloved General.

They held portraits of Giap, chrysanthemum flowers and national flags, which they waved as they cried.

A convoy of military trucks carried Giap's flag-draped coffin around Hanoi after a nearly-one-hour memorial service at the national funeral house on Tran Thanh Tong Street.

The memorial service began when Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made an opening statement at 7 a.m.

The event then continued with a funeral oration by General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong, who gave a brief profile of Giap and praise for his devotion. Then a moment of silence was observed for the late leader.

Giap's eldest son Vo Dien Bien then made a statement on behalf of his family to thank for the love and care of the Party, government and people, especially that of the army and staff at the Central Army Hospital 108, where Giap had been treated for more than 1,500 days.

Party and government officials, representatives of foreign countries and Giap's relatives walked around to pay their last tributes to him, before ten pall-bearers in military uniforms brought his coffin out of the funeral house at 7:30 a.m.

Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong, President Truong Tan Sang, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung accompanied the pall-bearers in moving Giap's coffin.

The coffin was placed in a hearse at around 7:40 a.m., and the convoys carried his coffin, portrait, medals, censer, and wreaths through the streets of the capital.

On the way to Noi Bai International Airport, the convoy passed many important buildings in Hanoi, including Hanoi Opera House and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

It stopped by Giap's house on Hoang Dieu Street at 8:15 a.m.

Giap's body was then flown to Quang Binh, where, like Hanoi thousands of people gathered to view the coffin. They cried, waved and called the general's name.

The convoy arrived at the burial area at 3:20 p.m. The burial service began at 4 p.m. and many people gathered to witness the event.

His grave is on a hilltop surrounded by pine trees, with a view of Dao Yen (Swallows Island).The pall-bearers lowered his coffin into the grave at 4:15 p.m. and the grave was filled up at around 4:25 p.m.

The burial service ended at 5 p.m.

The memorial and burial services were broadcast live on Vietnam Television's VTV1 channel and replayed on many other local channels across the country and were reported in domestic and international newspapers.

After Giap's death, many people, including Vietnamese and foreigners, had come to his house and other sites that held mourning ceremonies from October 6-12.

Giap, aka Van, was born in Quang Binh's Loc Thuy Commune. He commanded Vietnamese forces in many battles during Vietnam's revolutionary wars against the French and American armies, including the stunning victory at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, which ended the French colonization of Vietnam.

He was the eldest brother and commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People's Army, and an excellent student of the late President Ho Chi Minh.

He was also a journalist, a history teacher and a politician. He held many important positions in the Vietnamese government, including as defense minister and deputy prime minister.

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