The opening ceremony of the "Minute of Revival" exhibition was held on March 19 in the flower garden area of Ba Kieu Temple on Hoan Kiem Lake Walking Street. At the opening ceremony of the "Minute of Revival" exhibition, Do Dinh Hong, director of Hanoi's Department of Culture and Sports, highlighted the significance of the Paris Agreement and how it led to the return of thousands of revolutionary soldiers and patriotic compatriots who had been captured and imprisoned by the enemy since 1973. He spoke of the historic moment on Victory Day when the liberation flag was fluttering by the Thach Han River and how the soldiers returned to the revolution with joy despite their physical ailments. Hong stressed that the memories of the heroic sacrifices and victories of the past would always remain in the minds of the soldiers who had endured hell on earth. He also mentioned that even today, some soldiers continue to show unwavering loyalty and indomitable spirit. The "Minute of Revival" exhibition was organized to commemorate this historic event that took place 50 years ago and to help the younger generation appreciate the sacrifices and contributions of these revolutionary soldiers. Ultimately, it aims to instill a deeper appreciation for the value of independence and freedom that people enjoy today. The exhibition is divided into three main themes: "Opening the Prison Door," "Victory Day Returns," and "Continuing to Write the Epic Song.
The first theme, "Opening the Prison Door", showcases the establishment of the prison and detention system by the US imperialists and the government of the Republic of Vietnam after 1954 throughout the South.
The six largest prisons and detention centers, including Con Dao, Phu Quoc, Chi Hoa, Phu Loi, Tan Hiep, and Thu Duc, were known as the harshest and most brutal "hell on earth" in the South. The prisoners here were subjected to various forms of physical and psychological torture. Despite these extreme conditions, many soldiers showed unwavering courage and sacrifice in their resistance against the harsh prison regime.
The second theme, "Victory Day Returns," focuses on the implementation of the Paris Agreement of February 1973, which allowed for the return of prisoners and political prisoners between the two sides. This process took place in several stages at different locations, with the two largest sites being the Thach Han River in Quang Tri Province and Loc Ninh Airport (now in Loc Ninh District, Binh Phuoc Province).
The third theme, "Continuing the Epic Song," depicts the period after the prisoners returned home, when they overcame pain, injuries, and difficult circumstances to continue their struggle. Despite their past experiences, they continued to study and work with unwavering determination. They always remembered their comrades who perished in the "hell on earth" and cooperated with local forces to locate their remains and pay their respects to fellow prisoners who were still in difficult circumstances.