Thinking about it again and again, with Binh Duong commune three times the hero of Quang Nam province during the war, the “will to live” for the homeland is higher than “the will to win”. Because there, to have lived is to win. There is no other choice, and absolutely no “living on one’s knees”, never knowing how to give up.
I have read a very insightful article by Mr. Vu Ngoc Hoang, former Secretary of Quang Nam, and I would like to quote here a short paragraph so that we can have an overall picture of Binh Duong commune during the war: “With Binh Duong, Living daring to die is a proud life that will forever be resonant and iridescent. Dying for life is immortality. Death made life meaningful. Death is for life. It is death that gives birth to life.
I was lucky, in the summer of 1983, with the writers of the Vietnam Writers Association, I went on a field trip in Quang Nam – Da Nang province at that time. The field trip stretches and is wide in many districts in the province, but there are still highlights that writers must necessarily visit. To see how our people lived, fought, sacrificed and determined to survive. Binh Duong commune of H.Thang Binh is one of the highlights that we have been to. The field trip was organized by writer Nguyen Ngoc at that time, Secretary of the Party Union of the Vietnam Writers Association, with the full support of the leaders of Quang Nam – Da Nang province.
Our group of writers including poet Xuan Dieu, writer Doan Gioi, poet Anh Tho, critic – theorist Tu Son and writer Trung Trung Dinh were returned to Binh Duong in that summer.
Many years have passed, but the memory of Binh Duong is still quite intact in me. It is a memory that is both heavy, intense, and bright, as if we are going to a completely different land, although the white sand of Binh Duong is still close to those who have been through the war. , went to the resistance war like us.
Remembering the summer afternoons, our whole group walked from one village to another in the commune, looking to the houses of the people, the families who had been guerrilla to visit and talk. The war stories told by the Binh Duong people honestly made us dizzy. Because few would dare to think that such a poor white sand commune would have to endure such terrible destruction. The strangest thing is that in grief, Binh Duong people still stand, guerrillas still fight, mothers and sisters still protect and support their husbands and children. Then the sacrifices still come every day.
I once, after the war, in March 1976, went to the countryside of Son My, where I stayed for months with new relatives from strategic hamlets or lurking in the “freedom bombardment zones”. How much hardship, hardship, war memories, memories of the massacre of 504 people in Son My in March 1968 keep coming back at any time. In the epic poem “Children in Son My” I wrote a year later, there is a passage about the Son My guerrillas, which I find coincident with the guerrillas in Binh Duong:
“experiencing the cold and the heat
The legacy is left with only that heart
people who grow straight in the middle of life
Like a poplar forest blocking the sky, the sand flies
those who are as strong as roots
through the rock bare arms
they probe into secret underground circuits
raised cactus on the sand
with cacti, they seek to bloom.”
(Song of “Children in Son My”)
Well, after all the sacrifices and traumatic loss, the core is still “with cacti, they seek to bloom”, must bloom at any cost. They went to the day of victory, the day of peace and reunification by that same oath.
Today, after all, the “Mother Garden” project that Phan Duc Nhan, a son of Binh Duong, whose father was President H.Thang Binh during the French resistance war, whose mother was a martyr and the heroic Mother of Vietnam, has been pursuing this project for many years now. Mr. Phan Duc Nhan explained to me that in that place, which has been proclaimed a hero three times in the war, there will be many sweet fruits and cool green vegetables from his mother’s hand, but each onion beds, vegetable stalks, squash, gourds… will carry a heavy gratitude to their mother, distilled from their mother’s womb, along with the hardships and worries of every Binh Duong citizen today.
“Mother Garden”, is there a more loving idea, a deeper gratitude than when children work together to cultivate a garden in this painful and heroic land of Binh Duong, not “” Royal Garden”, but “Mother Garden” with vegetables, with cacti in bloom, with poplars blocking the sand, with reservoirs for the dry season, with all that our mothers, grandmothers Hero’s mother has worked hard to cultivate right from the fiercest days of the war.
It’s like a museum of gratitude, like a green book that people can turn every page to never forget the past, never forget the mothers who sacrificed everything. The most precious things in life are children, husbands, and mothers who have reluctantly become heroes because they have experienced so much pain and loss.
But like cactus in the sand, Binh Duong people have decided to “bloom”, have decided to live. It is a will to live that no enemy can understand or erase.
And I believe, the project “Mother Garden” will become a reality in the near future. On that day, we will all be together on the burning sand, which has now lit up the green buds of life, and will rise to the oceans of gratitude and the will to live.
Yes, you have to decide to live to be happy, that is Binh Duong. That’s Son My. That is Vietnam.