I still remember the first time I visited Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, which was the uniquely subtle tomb of the greatest Vietnamese leader of revolution, Ho Chi Minh. It was when I was at the age of eight that my primary school arranged a trip to visit one of the greatest monuments in Vietnam. Sometimes, the feeling of standing and looking at the solemn mausoleum strikes my memory as a lion roaring in my mind. Although I have visited the place only once, it was the most awe-inspiring and memorable moment of my life.
As I precisely remember, it was a cold day in December and the wind was screaming and raging outside against the window. The day before, it had even rained cats and dogs. It might have been a day that was not up to scratch for a school trip but at that age, like every child, I was a little explorer trying to seek high and low for new experiences and new pieces of puzzle I needed to fulfill my curiosity. It was like having ants in my pants and all the thoughts was spinning like a runaway tornado in my head. They had kept me wide-awake the night before despite all my mom’s effort to force me to sleep. It was because of this that I ended up waking up early at 6 a.m being well prepared for the trip.
The bus arrived at the destination at 8 sharp and all pupils got off the bus to line up and the line looked similar to an enormous snake. The initial impression of the place really caused me quite a stir. There was a boundless field full of fresh and pale green grass that was carefully trimmed almost every day. Along the field, there were three paths made of cement that led to the main massive gate of the mausoleum. Raindrops were like a thousand twinkling crystals that someone had left on the grass. On two sides of the mausoleum, a large and powerful army of 79 giant fan-palm trees symbolizing 79 living years of the president were dancing in the wind with tremendously long and needle-shaped leaves like knives and swords ready to knock out any enemies crossing the boundary. In contrast, lining up silently behind the fan-palm trees, there stood the proud and graceful bamboo princesses, which were one of the most sacred symbols of Vietnam, in the silver curtain of fog.
In the center, there stood the mausoleum majestically and proudly, which was about twenty metre high, paved in shiny gray granite with polished stone. I was immediately struck with amazement and I felt like I was at my wits’ end because I had never been to such a solemn and extremely quiet place like that before. The fear crept into my mind as I thought I was about to visit a cold, cheerless and scarily dark abandoned secret chamber with Bloody Mary inside. It really gave me the heebie-jeebies. However, it was completely different from what I had imagined outside. I was greeted with the dark crimson light at first. It was so dark in there that I could not locate my classmates and my teachers but I could make out their footsteps on the worn stone floors echoing through the warm, dark corridors, disturbing the tranquil silence. The body of the Ho Chi Minh was lying in a crystal-clear coffin made of glass, at the center of the room, with red light shining on. I could not take my eyes off the coffin as it was the most amazing and wondrous thing I had ever seen. The president was another Sun of the nation, who had led the Vietnamese through the darkness.
Leaving the mausoleum, feeling over the moon, I forced myself to remember to write down in my diary everything I had seen to remind myself of the most unforgettable trip of my life. Not only did I find that it pleased my curiosity but it also reminded me to respect the life I was living in those days of peace. Our previous generation had fought for freedom, hence, we had to take responsibility for maintaining freedom and being proud.