During the period 1925 - 1945, under the direct direction of the Party and leader Nguyen Ai Quoc, patriotic student organizations were born one after another such as: Student Union Organization, Ngo Quyen Team, General Association Students and public activities aimed at linking patriotic student forces and sympathizers with the revolution. Along with the development of the student movement, students in high schools in the North and in the South are also growing stronger and stronger due to the influence of the common struggle guided by the Viet Minh Front and National Salvation Organizations.

After the August Revolution in 1945, the Resistance Students' Association and the Resistance Students' Union were established in Saigon, Hue, and Hanoi, then developed into many schools in all three regions: North, Central, and South; The number of pupils and students admitted to the Youth Union and Party is quite large. The activities of students and resistance fighters are increasingly richer and more diverse. With the slogan: "Actively holding out and preparing to move strongly to a general counter-attack" has added new energy to the student movement. The student struggles spread throughout Indochina.

During the years 1949 - 1950, the struggle movements of youth, students, and students in urban areas took place continuously, loudly and widely, especially in Saigon - Gia Dinh with explosive movements and slogans "students strike", "return freedom to our friends", "down with puppets"... On January 9, 1950, the National Salvation Youth Union and the Saigon Students' Union - Gia Dinh - Cho Lon organized a campaign of over 10,000 people, the largest number of which were students, taking to the streets to demand security for students studying and the release of students. , student arrested, school reopened. The protest group was brutally suppressed.

At this time, student Tran Van On was a pillar of the patriotic student movement at Pétrus Ky School, preparing for the baccalaureate exam, but still actively leading the school's student group participating in strikes and demonstrations. love. In 1947, when he was only 16 years old, Tran Van On joined the patriotic student movement and was a secret member of the Inner City Resistance Student Union, as well as a member of the Vietnam - Southern Student Association. took on the task of propagandizing and mobilizing students in the school to participate in activities against the French government and pro-French government.

On January 9, 1950, a large protest broke out in Saigon of more than 6,000 students and teachers from schools, demanding that Prime Minister Tran Van Huu immediately release the arrested students. At 13:00 that day, the government of Prime Minister Tran Van Huu mobilized a large police force to suppress the protest movement, spraying water from water cannons and using batons to brutally beat protesters. This crackdown led to the arrest of 150 people and the beating and serious injuries of 30 people on the spot. Not backing down from the enemy, Tran Van On and a few friends boldly moved forward loudly denouncing their crimes, while protecting the children behind them. While carrying Truong Gia Long student Ta Thi Thau who was knocked unconscious by the police, Tran Van On was hit in the stomach. Tran Van On was shot while helping a student climb a pile of firewood stacked close to the fence to get over the wall. Along with other victims, he was taken to Cho Ray Hospital for treatment, but his injuries were too severe and he passed away at 3:30 p.m. that day. When he died, Tran Van On was less than 19 years old.

Tran Van On's funeral - Documentary photo

The news of Tran Van On's immediate death caused an uproar among students in Saigon, becoming the focus of coverage of a series of major newspapers in Saigon. On January 12, 1950, Tran Van On's funeral was held right at Pétrus Ky school. All students of the school wore black ribbons to mourn him. Tens of thousands of people gathered at Truong Vinh Ky school. More than 300,000 Saigon people took to the streets to support him. According to Than Chung Daily (January 14, 1950), in response to Tran Van On's funeral, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, and other private businesses closed that day, at the same time. The vehicles carrying people to the funeral did not charge money, and hundreds of cyclo drivers volunteered to carry more than 300 wreaths. Two student representatives from Central and North also flew to attend the funeral. After gathering, at exactly 7:30 a.m., the group began to depart, going through the streets of Saigon to bring Tran Van On's body to Cho Lon cemetery for burial. At Cho Lon cemetery, many eulogies were read to commemorate Tran Van On. Among them, the eulogy of the delegates of the students included: "We will never forget January 9, the day that Mr. On and his fellow students kindly sacrificed their lives." , his life in exchange for freedom for his imprisoned friends. The spirit of Tran Van On is eternal!".

Students of Petrus Ky School (now Le Hong Phong, Ho Chi Minh City) march to say goodbye to student Tran Van On

Following the example and recognizing the indomitable fighting spirit of Mr. Tran Van On and the students in the early days of the resistance war, the first National Congress of the Vietnam Youth Federation, February 1950 in Viet Bac decided to take January 9 every year as a traditional student day. The 5th National Congress of the Vietnamese Student Association (November 22 - 23, 1993) in Hanoi decided to take January 9 as the traditional day of the Vietnamese Student Association.

Until today, Mr. Tran Van On's spirit has been followed by generations of Vietnamese students, from "working small, depending on your strength" to actively participating in movements. , activities launched by Union and Association organizations. Vietnamese students have been following Uncle Ho's teachings, contributing their part to the overall development of the country.

Writer: Bien Thu Ngan