These days, Mr. Duc struggles to write about his feelings for beloved Uncle Ho. For him, Uncle Ho is always in his heart. In the story, he talked a lot about the memories of being given gifts by Uncle Ho and doing meaningful things in remembrance of the beloved old father of the nation.
Mr. Tran Van Duc especially reminisced about 2 times he had met and received gifts from Uncle Ho. For him, these are not only his honor and pride but also the motivation for him to always place his trust and expectation in the Party, State, and Uncle Ho.
“I don't brag about what I have, but what I wish is to show my responsibility to my family and society when talking about Uncle Ho. Uncle remains forever in my heart,” Mr Tran Van expressed. And then, the story of 2 times meeting Uncle Ho, 2 times being given gifts by Uncle Ho merged into the flow of emotions that surged inside him...
He said, “In April 1961, I was in class 4A, Ly Tu Trong School (Hanoi). That afternoon, after the family had finished eating, I took the dishes to the kitchen of the Central Medical Staff Complementary School (138 Giang Vo, Dong Da, Hanoi). At that time, I saw the beautiful gold-plated Vicole watch which Miss Tam, the dining-room manager, had taken off to wash her hands and forgotten on the lid of the water tank. I immediately took it home and said to my mother, “This is the watch Miss Tam forgot. I take it home. Later, when she comes to ask, you give it to her.” Then I continued to wash the dishes.”
I was washing the dishes when Miss Tam parked her bicycle and asked in a panic, “Did you see the watch I forgot here?” I said yes, then went to get the watch and returned it to Miss Tam.
Ms. Tam patted my head and said, “You are very good.” Then she reported the matter to the Party Committee, School Board, and Trade Union of the Central Medical Staff Complementary School.
I clearly remembered Saturday evening on May 15, 1961, which was also the anniversary of the founding of the Ho Chi Minh Young Pioneers' Organization. The school's Trade Union in collaboration with the Executive Committee of the Women's Union and the Executive Committee of the Youth Union organized a meeting and invited all the children of school officials and employees to gather in the meeting hall.
Uncle Nguyen Van Vien, Chairman of the School's Trade Union presided over the meeting. He said, “Duc found Miss Tam's watch and gave it back to her. He followed Uncle Ho’s 5 teachings. All of you should follow Duc’s example, and not be greedy for the things other people forgot or dropped. With the consent of and on behalf of the Party Committee, School Board, School Trade Union, Executive Committee of the Women's Union, and Youth Union, I present the Certificate of Merit “Uncle Ho’s Good Children" and the award of the Trade Union to Duc.” At that time, everyone in the meeting hall applauded enthusiastically.
On International Children's Day, June 1 that year, uncle Chan, Principal of the Central Medical Staff Complementary School, asked uncle Khoi to drive me to the Unification Club to attend the ceremony. I was taken by uncle Khoi to sit behind the delegates' seats. After a while, Uncle Ho came in with his uncles: Ton Duc Thang, Pham Van Dong, Vo Nguyen Giap, and poet To Huu, and went to the front of the stage to wave to the children.
Mr. Tran Van Duc was touched: Uncle Ho was like a fairy with a snow-white beard and hair, bright eyes, and a gentle smile. Uncle wore a faded khaki suit and rubber sandals. Uncle wished us good health, hard study, and good study so that in the future our country can compete with the great powers of the five continents. We should obey our parents, listen to teachers, be sociable, unite with friends, and follow Uncle Ho’s 5 teachings.
Uncle beat time to the songs with his fingers "Unity" and “Southern Liberation". The uncles and aunts in charge of the Unification Club beat time to the song "Who Loves Uncle Ho more than Teenagers and Children", and then went to distribute sweets to the children.
I saw Uncle Ho also taking some packets of candy where the uncles and aunts were distributing them to the children sitting behind the delegate seats. I was also given a gift by Uncle Ho. This sacred memory is forever in my heart.
Afterward, I was sent to attend the first summer camp “Uncle Ho’s Good Children ” in Sam Son, Thanh Hoa organized by the Central Youth Union. Here we had a lot of fun singing and dancing. I still remembered the songs "Our Sam Son" and "Beautiful Sea in My Hometown". On the Mid-Autumn Festival full moon of that year, I was also driven by uncle Khoi to the Unification Club.
He went to meet the Club Organizing Committee, and the uncles and aunts here arranged for me to sit behind the delegate seats. Then Uncle Ho reappeared like a fairy with Uncles Pham Van Dong and Vo Nguyen Giap. Like last time, Uncle Ho beat time with his fingers to the songs "Unity" and “Southern Liberation". The uncles and aunts of Unification Club also beat time to the song "Who Loves Uncle Ho more than Teenagers and Children" and handed out sweets.
I was again handed out a gift by Uncle Ho. So I was honored to receive gifts from Uncle Ho twice. Uncle always advised and taught the Southern students, aunts, and uncles, who often came here to engage in activities, to live in solidarity, love, and mutual support; to endeavor to study, practice and cultivate revolutionary morality, raise the level of culture and knowledge; to contribute to building socialism in the North and jointly fight for the liberation of the South and unification of the country so that Uncle Ho can visit the fellow-countrymen, soldiers, and teenagers in the South...
At the age of 75, memory can gradually forget, but in his heart, Tran Van Duc never forgets Uncle Ho's teachings. He always shows his affection for Uncle by collecting and preserving articles and artifacts relevant to Uncle. Those are the articles about Uncle, about the 30th anniversary of the Party foundation on February 3, about revolutionary policies or Uncle Ho's New Year greeting cards, Uncle Ho's Certificate of Merit given to his father, Mr. Tran Van Khoa. Even the father's mourning band for Uncle Ho ... has also been cherished and kept by him to this day. For him, all are sacred memories, demonstrating great respect for Uncle Ho, the Party, and State.
Mr. Tran Van Duc is among the people who made many big contributions to collecting and giving back Uncle Ho-related memorabilia to the Thua Thien Hue Museum of History and Ho Chi Minh Museum of Thua Thien Hue Province. For him, it is his responsibility and affection expression for the beloved Uncle Ho.