|State President Truong Tan Sang visits former Con Dao prisoners yesterday in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HA NOI (VNS)— President Truong Tan Sang yesterday presented the "Hero of the People's Armed Forces" title to a collective of revolutionaries who were once jailed in the Con Dao Island prison.
The island off the coast of the southern province of Ba Ria- Vung Tau has been well-known for a notorious prison where those who struggled for national independence during the French and US invasion were kept by foreign imperialists and puppet regimes.
He also presented the title to Phan Trong Binh, former Vice Secretary of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial Party Committee, and the posthumous title to relatives of Pham Quoc Sac, Nguyen Minh and Le Van Mot, who together with Binh, were prominent fighters in the prison during the struggle for national independence.
At the ceremony, Sang, along with other Party and State leaders and 350 former Con Dao prisoners from 35 cities and provinces nationwide, recounted the staunch spirit that helped the imprisoned revolutionaries withstand the brutal torture at Con Dao Prison.
Built in 1862 by the French colonialists, Con Dao Prison was turned into the largest "Hell on Earth" in Indochina as it was the place where about 20,000 imprisoned Vietnamese revolutionaries were tortured to death from 1930 to 1975.
The prison's history reflects the heroic epic of the country's struggle and highlights the patriotism, dedicated fighting spirit and endless loyalty of generations of revolutionaries, who were jailed physically but not mentally.
Inmates at the prison set up their own revolutionary theory and practice training schools run by such outstanding Vietnamese leaders as late President Ton Duc Thang, late Party General Secretary Le Duan, and late Party General Secretary Nguyen Van Linh.
In March, a certificate honouring the prison as a special national relic was handed over to the authorities of southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.
The title is a confirmation of the historical relic's great value, contributing to educating younger generations on the nation's heroic history. — VNS