Today marks 71 years since the Second World War concluded, and along with the end of that conflict the era of colonial dominance in Southeast Asia also began unravelling.

The European departure came quickly in some locations, slowly in others and, depending on your interpretation, is even still underway in some places.

Among the nation states that emerged quickly was Vietnam, with one of the lesser knowns giants of post-war Southeast Asian politics, President Ho Chi Minh, declaring Vietnam an independent state on this day in 1945.

Detailing the trauma suffered by Vietnam in the decades that followed is for another post, but in the thoughts of one intelligent young Vietnamese speaking about that era, “Everything is past“.

Perhaps so, but in any event I offer my hopes for a brighter future for Vietnam.