Life in Vietnam

Saturday, 27/04/2024 06:06

Revisit A1 Hill: "Mud, Blood, Flowers"

ĐBP — As the nation approaches the 70th anniversary of the Điện Biên Phủ Victory, all eyes are turning towards the westernmost part of the Fatherland - Điện Biên, with profound gratitude.

Amidst the journey to visit the ancient battlefield, there is a place that remains inaccessible to tourists - the A1 Hill relic, situated at the heart of Điện Biên Phủ City.


On the eve of the historic May, on A1 Hill, the flamboyant trees begin to bloom.

Seventy years ago, during those fiery days, following a command, a 960kg explosive charge detonated, and after eight hours of the fourth attack, the Vietnamese troops successfully obliterated the A1 base at 4.30am on May 7, 1954. After 39 days and nights of intense fighting, Vietnamese soldiers vanquished four battalions, caused severe damage to three French mobile battalions, and claimed the lives of 825 French soldiers. However, in exchange, 2,516 officers and soldiers of the Việt Nam People's Army forever remain here, their blood saturating every inch of soil and every meter of the trenches on the base.

A1, the "key" to the Điện Biên Phủ stronghold group, was completely shattered. The liberation of this base served as a stepping stone for the soldiers of the Việt Nam People's Army to assault and capture General De Castries (Christian Marie Ferdinand de la Croix de Castries) and the entire Điện Biên Phủ Clusters Command  leading to a globally significant victory that reverberated across the world.

Tourists take photos and check in at the top of A1 Hill. The words "Mud, blood and flowers" clearly portrays the nation's tragic but heroic past.

 Today, after 70 years, A1 Hill adorns itself with new hues alongside the remnants of the old war. The A1 Hill relic has become one of the "must-visit" sites for those on a journey of remembrance. What sets it apart is that, during the days of April, nearing the anniversary of the past victory, the red flamboyant flowers atop the hill bloom brightly, as if to welcome visitors to recall the firestorm of the "last height” seven decades ago.

According to statistics from the Provincial Monuments Management Board, A1 Hill relic receives an average of 2,000 visitors per day in April, who come to pay their respects and experience its historical significance. VNS

An Chi – Trần Dũng

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