Viet Nam News
Đà Nẵng – The Việt Nam Book of Records, VietKings, has recognised a marble milestone of Trường Sa Đông Island on the mainland as the biggest of its kind in Việt Nam.
The Việt Nam Record Association said the marble milestone was a copy of the Vietnamese landmark on Trường Sa Đông, one of the islands in the Trường Sa archipelago (Spratlys) of Việt Nam.
The 6m-high milestone, which was carved by craftsmen from the Non Nước Stone Art Village in Đà Nẵng City’s Ngũ Hành Sơn District, is made of concrete and steel with marble tiles on the outside.
Craftsmen from the village over a period of many months used 12m of marble to pave the milestone.
The milestone is made according to the original design, with four marble facades and the Vietnamese written letter reaffirming Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the island.
It is installed at the stone art centre on coastal Hoàng Sa Street, connecting Đà Nẵng and Hội An.
The milestone is an attraction for foreign and domestic tourists, who have come to see the stone sculpture and learn about its story.
The owner of the Xuất Ánh stone art centre, Trần Văn Xuất, a former naval soldier protecting the island from 1983 to 1987, said he erected the stone stele, dedicated to the island, in front of his house in memory of the time he served there, and as a place for his comrades to meet up every year.
The marble stele has become a place of pilgrimage for his 32-man company every April – the month the company first stepped off the boat and onto the island in 1984.
"It was difficult to contact all the comrades because it was so long ago and they live far away in different provinces across the country," he explained.
“The milestone is a landmark of my stone art centre and a notice to all my former comrades. It also sends a strong message to the world that Trường Sa and Hoàng Sa (Paracels) Islands belong to Việt Nam,” he said.
Thirty-three years ago, Xuất and 31 other soldiers were sent to protect Trường Sa Đông islet – a 200m-long coral reef located 260 nautical miles off Cam Ranh Port in the coastal province of Khánh Hòa.
Xuất also reserves a corner of his workshop for souvenirs that remind him of Trường Sa Đông Island, including his military bag, uniform, handmade knives and shells taken from the island. — VNS