The display is held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the “Dien Bien Phu in the air” victory (December 1972 - 2022) and 50 years since the release of American pilots imprisoned in the North (1973 - 2023).
Visitors will have a chance to learn about the “silence” after US carpet bombings and fierce battles, as well as the losses and sacrifice suffered by each soldier and civilian during the 12 days and nights resisting the airstrikes.
They can also feel the “silence” behind stone walls of “Hanoi Hilton”, a satirical name that the imprisoned American pilots gave to the Hoa Lo Prison then, where they looked back on the war, the life, and the Vietnamese people.
The exhibition also reflects the “silence” 50 years later, when war veterans of the US returned to visit the former battlefield and “Hanoi Hilton”.
At the opening ceremony, visitors watched a reenactment of the prompt preparation for evacuation by people in the North and their concurrent production and fighting amid wartime. They also met with witnesses to history, former political prisoners who used to be incarcerated by colonialists and imperialists, former warders who cared for US pilots at the Hoa Lo Prison, and Vice President of the Veterans for Peace (VFP) Chuck Searcy.
During the historic 12 day-and-night battle in December 1972, the Vietnamese army and people defeated US airstrikes in the North, shooting down 81 aircraft of all kinds, including 34 B-52s, forcing the US to sign the Paris Agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam in January 1973.
This triumph is also called the “Dien Bien Phu in the air” victory, which took the name from the victory of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign in 1954 that put an end to the French colonial rule over Indochina.