A commune mourns the loss of Vietnamese President

By Le Hoang    September 21, 2018 | 08:35 pm PT
A commune mourns the loss of Vietnamese President
Cao Hoang Dang, 63, recalls childhood memories with the late Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang. Photo by VnExpress/Le Hoang
Grief rent the air at Quang Thien Commune as they heard of President Tran Dai Quang’s demise.

Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang, a native of Quang Thien Commune, Kim Son District in the northern province of Ninh Binh, two-hour drive south of Hanoi, passed away on Friday morning due to a serious illness.

A four-storied house in the commune attached to the late president’s childhood stands amidst a large garden with perennial trees, where his relatives live. 

Police personnel have been deployed in the area.

Upon hearing the shocking news, residents quit their work from farms and other places and flocked to a small house to await news from the capital. 

“On Friday when my family was having lunch, we got information about his death on the TV. We were grief-stricken and rushed to our neighbors to confirm the information,” said Tran Thi Thang.

“We had previously heard about his illness, but did not have any specific information. All of us prayed for him to recover, but today’s bad news was unexpected.”

Tran Thi Lieu, 61, said she could not believe it when she heard the news Friday noon.

“We stopped eating. We felt very sad,” Lieu said, tears in her eyes.

Lieu said she had seen the president on TV a day before his death. “I followed newspapers and radio stations regularly, and I found him thinner than before and I felt worried about him,” she told VnExpress.

Local residents in Quang Thien Commune give up farming work and clean up streets. 

Local residents in Quang Thien Commune give up farming work and clean up streets. Photo by VnExpress/Le Hoang

In the eyes of many people in Quang Thien Commune, Quang was a very simple and loving person.

Cao Hoang Dang, 63, Quang’s neighbor and a childhood friend, recalled that Quang was born into a poor family with many brothers and sisters, but he was very smart and studied well.     

“We grew up amidst bamboo groves, rode buffalos to the field or caught fish and crabs after school, but he studied hard and started his career early,” Dang said.    

Dang said Quang’s father died when he was still in primary school, and his mother had to sell vegetables and bananas to raise his six brothers.  

“Quang was a good-natured person and he was loved by his peers. He was the pride of our countryside,” Dang said.

Though no official schedule for the national mourning has been announced, many people in the commune have given up their daily work and joined hands to clean up its streets.  

go to top