Every year, December 26 is an incense offering ceremony to commemorate 287 ill-fated people on Kham Thien Street. They were killed in the carpet bombing of a US B52 plane 50 years ago, on the night of December 26, 1972.

by Thành Đông at Zing News (Vietnam) [Google translation]

On the morning of December 26, at the Kham Thien Memorial (Kham Thien Street, Hanoi) an incense offering ceremony took place in memory of the martyrs and innocent victims in the 12-day battle in December 1972. Although 50 years have passed, the horrifying memories of the bombing of the B52 are still imprinted in the minds of Hanoians.

In a solemn and emotional atmosphere, the Party Committee, People’s Committee, Fatherland Front Committee of Kham Thien Ward and the people of the capital respectfully laid wreaths, offered incense and spent a minute of silence in memory of compatriots killed by American bombs in December 1972.

Fifty years ago, at 10:30 p.m. on December 26, 1972, when the echoes of Christmas Eve still lingered, 30 B-52s of the US Army dropped bombs on Kham Thien Street, a busy street in Hanoi. Interior at that time. The destructive bomb trail extends 1,000 m with a width of 40-50 m. The bombing took the lives of 287 people, including 94 women, 40 elderly people, and 55 children, injured 290 people, and 178 children became orphans.

Placed in the center of the memorial is a statue modeled after the image of a Hanoi woman who died at the foot of the stairs of No. 47. The deceased was standing in a standing position holding her child in her lap.

The house at 51 Kham Thien street was just a bomb crater, all 7 people living in this house that year were killed. This land today becomes a memorial with a stele bearing the words “Kham Thien deeply engraves hatred for the American enemy” and a bronze statue of a woman holding a child who died from American bombs.

In the memorial grounds is a memorial room displaying images of victims in the terrible bombing of the US military. The 2.4 m high cement statue of a mother holding her child carved by painter Nguyen Tu in 1973 is kept in the souvenir room. In 1997, the statue was cast bronze according to the original cement statue, placed at the old statue’s position on the outside campus and renamed “Kham Thien Memorial”.

Every year on this occasion, Ms. Vo Thi Hop (85 years old) also comes to burn incense at Kham Thien Memorial. The image of that horrible, tragic and deadly night is still imprinted in her memory.

Mrs. Hop choked and bitterly witnessed the scene where people in her neighborhood had to lie down because of the war. “My family was lucky to be alive, but on the morning of December 27, I walked out into the alley of Kham Thien market, the scene was devastated, and bodies were lying around,” she recalled.

The terrible bomb that night claimed 5 relatives of Mrs. Chu Thi Hoa (born in 1942), including her mother-in-law, husband, her sister and her youngest brother. “When I heard the siren, I and my mother-in-law ran down to the shelter of the neighborhood, while my husband and 3 brothers hid in the cellar near the house. When bombs were dropped and rocks fell, I was rescued in time, and my mother was rescued. her husband was buried and suffocated”, Mrs. Hoa did not forget the painful memories.

“At that time, I panicked when I saw four of my family members died. My husband and brothers were later allowed to go up, only my mother-in-law was not found. Until now, our family is still there. I haven’t found her yet. Fortunately, my 3 children are still alive, they are the last consolation for me,” the elderly woman said sadly.

Mr. Tran Hau Tuan (born in 1942) and his wife visited incense at the memorial. His family has 4 dead relatives: brother-in-law, sister-in-law, two grandchildren (pregnant sister-in-law). At that time, he was in the army in Hung Yen. On the night of December 26, he received news that Kham Thien Street was bombed, so he was very worried. Right at noon on December 27, he returned home to find that his loved one was gone.

The people of Kham Thien in particular and the people of the capital in general, every year on the occasion of the anniversary of major holidays and especially the anniversary of the battle of Dien Bien Phu in the air, come here to offer incense to commemorate the deceased and express their gratitude. merits of the heroes who made the B52 victory in the sky of Hanoi.