Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – A grand ceremony was held on Thursday morning to honour and commemorate fallen soldiers, war invalids and others who devoted their lives to national freedom.
The event was the highlight of a series of activities this year to mark the 70th anniversary of War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day (July 27, 1947-2017).
Nearly 3,500 delegates, including top national leaders, heroic mothers, war heroes and war invalids, from across the country filled up the grand hall of the National Convention Centre in Hà Nội.
A minute of silence was observed in memory of millions of people, both soldiers and ordinary people, who shed blood or died in the nation’s fierce wars in the 20th century to gain national independence.
Addressing the ceremony, Party Secretary General Nguyễn Phú Trọng expressed his deepest gratitude, on behalf of the Party and State, towards the martyrs, war invalids and their families for their tremendous sacrifices.
“Millions of martyrs’ relatives were never able to reunite with their beloveds," he said.
“The war heroes and martyrs have brought honour to our nation. Their names will go down in history and be remembered forever,” the party chief added.
He added that the Party and State have always attached special attention to preferential policies for revolutionary contributors. Up till now, more than nine million revolutionary contributors have become beneficiaries of such policies. More than four million have been awarded orders, medals and other awards recognising their contributions.
He pledged that that Party and State would continue to better their policies to ensure that by 2020, all families of revolutionary contributors would enjoy a living standard equal to or above the average in their localities.
Travelling all the way from HCM City to attend the ceremony, veteran Nguyễn Viết Quản told the Việt Nam News he was very touched to attend such a solemn ceremony and that the contributions of his comrades and himself were honoured.
Wearing a military uniform full of medals, Quản could barely hold back tears when talking about his fallen comrades.
“I can never forget this saying we used to tell each other during the war -- when peace comes, those who are still alive must bring those who died back to their hometowns,” he said, adding that he had managed to collect 104 remains of martyrs from his former military units over the past years.
Hanoian Lê Tràng Trí, a war invalid who lost one leg in the northern border war in 1979, said he was grateful for the State’s supportive policies towards war invalids.
However, he hoped more policies and activities would be implemented in the future because there were still many war invalids and veterans living in very difficult situations.
Earlier in the morning, delegations of national leaders, the capital city’s leaders and representatives of various organisations and agencies laid wreaths at the Monument of Heroic Martyrs and paid tribute to late President Hồ Chí Minh at his mausoleum in Ba Đình Square. – VNS