Country marks 40th anniversary of war victory over US

The country celebrated the moment 40 years ago when tanks smashed through the gates of the Presidential Palace in the then southern capital of Saigon with a colourful march past.

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Vietnam has today marked the 40th anniversary of their victory in combat with the United States with the fall of Saigon.

The country held a military parade in the centre of Vietnam's usually bustling southern business hub as regiments of goose-stepping soldiers in dress uniform marched past all the country's flag-waving top leadership in rhyme with a marching band that played.

Al Jazeera reports that elaborate floats, including one bearing a giant portrait of founding president Ho Chi Minh, made their way slowly through the city streets.

Speaking on the momentous event,  Army Lieutenant-General Nguyen Quoc Khanh said the April 30 victory was a golden turning point for the Vietnamese people.

He further said the victory was a symbol of the country's hard-won independence adding that the army "is ready to sacrifice" anything to defend this.

The conflict which was bitterly divisive in the US and still haunts the country claimed the lives of millions of Vietnamese people as well as 58,000 American servicemen.

According to embassy spokesman, Terry White, no American official will attend the Vietnamese anniversary parade, but the US Ambassador will attend a small ceremony at the consulate in HCMC with The Fall of Saigon Marine's Association.

While the government is keen on the wartime anniversary, the public has become increasingly indifferent or even hostile to such shows of official patriotism.

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