Ho Chi Minh is not a name readily talked about anymore, but to anyone who grew up during the 50’s and 60’s, he was an important man who shaped war during that time. Born in 1890 in a very well off family, Ho was brought up to, in some ways to always resist those who had a hold over Vietnam. His father and mother refused to learn French, but he himself was very educated, and was a teacher for some time. Before long, he realised that his heart lay elsewhere, and proceeded to travel to many countries, many communist, to learn different ways of life, and to see what his people were missing out on.
In 1945, Ho Chi Minh became the President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, a communist party that represented mostly the north of the country, and later Vietnam entirely. He had spent many years fighting against the French, and later the Japanese, in order to free his country; in turn, in 1945, independence was declared. This political power gave Ho fighting power, which allowed him to create the Vietminh, which was a guerrilla army. With both political and fighting power, and nearly an entire country behind him, Ho was a much loved part of everyone’s family.
For Vietnam, Ho was special as he was elected into power, something that had not been done for a very long time, maybe never. His biggest challenge was the Americans, who had previously supported Ho when Vietnam was ruled by France and later when they fought with Japan. However, the Americans did not see eye to eye when it come to the idea of a communist country, which resulted in the horrible, bloody American War. Vietnam did prevail, but only after their beloved leader was dead. Without Ho, Vietnam may still today have been used and abused by other countries, when millions of people suffering.
While Ho Chi Minh was not loved and adored by all Vietnamese, most still today refer to him as ‘uncle’, and his face can still be seen throughout the entire country. Although communism is a questionable form of government, Ho’s idea revolved around the necessity to free his people from those who had wrongly ruled them for so many years. He had no self interest, and personally put his life on the line many times to reach independence. And while there are arguments against his choice of political beliefs, no one can question his desire to help his people, the people of Vietnam. Ho only worked for good, and his work resulted in the freedom of Vietnam today.
– by Becca Edgar, 11ENG