On the morning of October 16, an event titled “Mothers and the Soldiers’ Hearts” was held at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum. The event was co-organized by the Vietnamese Women’s Museum; the Soldiers’ Heart Club; Colonel, Journalist, and Photographer Tran Hong; and the Environment and Urban Newspaper. The event had three main activities: the exhibition “Mothers,” which featured photos taken by Colonel, Journalist, and Photographer Tran Hong; a Donation Ceremony of former soldiers’ keepsakes; and a Signing Ceremony between the Vietnamese Women’s Museum and the Soldiers’ Heart Club. The event was a meaningful way to celebrate Vietnamese Women’s Day on October 20, as well as the 90th anniversary of the Vietnam Women’s Union. It also was part of the Museum’s initiative to expand the network to collect objects during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The cooperation between mothers and soldiers is essential, because without mothers and wives taking care of families at home, soldiers cannot join the army to fight for the homeland. Recently, when soldiers involved in the rescue mission in Central Vietnam died in the floods, we clearly saw the character of Uncle Ho’s army men, who in war and peacetime, are always devoted to the people of Vietnam. Mothers, wives, and children of soldiers killed on duty, whether today or in the past, still suffer the pain of losing their loved ones. That is one of the reasons why the Vietnamese Women’s Museum chose the title for the event, “Mothers and the Soldiers’ Heart,” as we wanted to pay tribute to the sacrifices of generations of Vietnamese soldiers and Vietnamese women.
The Exhibition “Mothers” elicits special memories of gentle and extraordinary women. The ninety photos featured in the exhibition capture mothers whom the photographer met and photographed during the time he served in the army. “Throughout my career, I have met and talked with many mothers and captured their images. I am happy that the Museum assisted me in organizing a professional exhibition and helped me bring the images of mothers to the public. The portraits of them somewhat remind us of our own mothers and bring us back to our childhood.” Photographer Tran Hong, sharing his feelings at the event.
Throughout our journey of connecting and expanding the network, we have been collecting valuable memorabilia from soldiers and soldiers’ mothers, wives, and daughters. The Museum is fortunate that these historical witnesses have entrusted us with these precious documents and artifacts that they have treasured throughout their lives – such as a father’s death notice, letters, notebooks, and personal items. These artifacts, along with the Museum’s other pieces, help tell the stories of war for the next generation, so that we can appreciate the sacrifices soldiers and their families made for peace and liberation.
Not only have we had the opportunity to obtain valuable documents and artifacts, we also have had a chance to work closely with soldiers to collect, store and introduce the remaining objects of the wartime to the audience through events and exhibitions in the future. The signing ceremony of cooperation between the Vietnamese Women’s Museum and the Soldiers’ Heart Club is an initiative of the Museum to expand the network of collecting objects. It shows the appreciation soldiers have for the Museum as a partner in their journey to preserve important artifacts and pay tribute to Vietnamese soldiers and their families.
As a relative of a fallen soldier, Ms. Hoang Thi Ai Nhien, Vice President of the Vietnam Women’s Union, was moved by the photos exhibited at the event and the stories told by the soldiers of the Ho Chi Minh era. She greatly appreciated the Museum’s commitment to cooperate with the soldiers. She hopes that the Museum and the Club will have many more activities in the future. “This event is meaningful because it reminds us of the connection between soldiers and the Vietnamese people, women and soldiers of Uncle Ho. This topic has been featured in poems, songs, and other writings. But perhaps it does not fully express what is in the hearts of mothers, sisters, wives, and children and what they would like to share with their children, brothers, husbands and fathers who are soldiers. The activities today show the tradition of gratitude we feel for the soldiers of today’s generation, and we hope the next generation will learn from them and keep the tradition.”
The Vietnamese Women’s Museum aims to educate youngsters about the history and traditions of Vietnamese people through events like this.