Vietnam has marked 35 years since the end of its war by staging a re-enactment of the fall of the Saigon.
Thousands of troops marched through the streets of what is now officially called Ho Chi Minh City to mark the day the communist North claimed victory.
Vietnam's President Nguyen Minh Triet used the event to praise the country's economic development.
The Vietnam War claimed the lives of three million Vietnamese and some 60,000 US soldiers.
Tens of thousands of people gathered in front of the former presidential residence, now called Independence Palace, in Ho Chi Minh City, to watch the military and cultural display.
The BBC's Nga Pham in the city said the events began in the early hours to avoid the heat of the day, with a play recounting the history of the country from ancient times to when the North's tanks smashed through the gates of the palace, leading to the surrender of the southern government.
A replica tank drove through the city to the palace, greeted by cheers from the crowds.
The event was an emotional one for many who lived through the war itself, with some people crying as they watched the display.
"We are here today, very emotional, and thinking of what happened 35 years ago," said Vu Dang Toan, a member of the tank unit involved in the victory in 1975.
"It was a great victory, it was very quick to liberate Saigon and the country is reunited."
It's this last statement that bothers me the most. Severe brainwashing that still exists today. You liberated Saigon from what? Saigon was one of the most advanced cities in Asia in the 50s and 60s. The Paris of Asia.
Look at this picture of Saigon in 1966.
Big buildings, commercial advertising. Looks very advanced!
Liberated from what? Liberated from capitalist to communist ruin? From 1975 to 1995 Saigon was sent back to the dark ages. Upon taking control of the bomb-ravaged country, the Vietnamese communists banned all other political parties and forced public servants and military personnel of the Republic of Vietnam into re-education camps. The government also embarked on a mass campaign of collectivization of farms and factories. Reconstruction of the war-ravaged country was slow, and serious humanitarian and economic problems confronted the communist regime. Millions of people fled the country in crudely built boats, creating an international humanitarian crisis. The boat people. If you had a degree, it was cancelled. If you had a house, they could just come and take it.
This is liberation?
Beginning in the late 1970s, the quality of health care began to decline as a result of budgetary constraints, a shift of responsibility to the provinces, and the introduction of charges. Inadequate funding has led to delays in planned upgrades to water supply and sewage systems. As a result, almost half the population has no access to clean water, a deficiency that promotes such infectious diseases as malaria, dengue fever, typhoid, and cholera. Inadequate funding also has contributed to a shortage of nurses, midwives, and hospital beds.
This is liberation?
Vietnam can say they have advanced all they want, but Vietnam in 2010 is still nowhere near Vietnam in 1975. While other countries like US and Canada have made amazing advances in the last 35 years, Vietnam is still backwards. But of course that's liberation from evil forces, wherever they might be.