Sunday, December 5 2021


Veteran soldier honoured for collecting and publishing martyrs' diaries

Update: December, 19/2020 - 07:44


The book series Nhật Ký Thời Chiến Việt Nam (Wartime Diary). — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Veteran soldier and writer Đặng Vương Hưng has been honoured for his great contribution to publishing for the book series Nhật Ký Thời Chiến Việt Nam (Wartime Diary).

A ceremony to recognise his hark work was held recently by the Forever 20 Foundation in collaboration with the University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

From 2004 to 2020, Hưng collected several diaries written by Vietnamese martyrs and soldiers during the war. A total of 31 diaries were collected and then presented in the collection Nhật Ký Thời Chiến Việt Nam which consists of four volumes, each more than 1,000-pages thick, compiled and edited by Hưng.

The book collection is considered a legacy that heroes, martyrs, and veterans have left for the next generation.

Writer Đặng Vương Hưng (centre) seen together with readers of the Nhật Ký Thời Chiến Việt Nam (Wartime Diary). — Photo courtesy of the writer

The book includes the two most popular diaries entitled Nhật Ký Đặng Thùy Trâm (Đặng Thùy Trâm's Diary) and martyr Nguyễn Văn Thạc's Mãi Mãi Tuổi 20 (Forever Twenty).

The North Vietnamese female doctor Đặng Thùy Trâm penned her diary in the 1960s while she was working in a field hospital in Quảng Ngãi Province. The young doctor was killed by US troops in June 1970 at the age of 27.

Her diary was found and preserved by American soldier Fred Whitehurst, who donated it to the Vietnam Center and Archives at Texas Tech University 35 years later. Officials, with the aid of veteran Tom Engelmann and American writer Lady Borton, were able to locate Trâm's family, and the diary was returned to them in 2005.

That same year, thousands of copies of the diary were published in Việt Nam, and it became a phenomenon. It has been translated into English, Korean, Thai and Spanish.

Diaries by other martyrs such as Chu Cẩm Phong, Dương Thị Xuân Quý and Nguyễn Minh Sơn are also included in the series.

The Forever 20 Foundation, which was founded in 2005 in commemoration of female doctor Đặng Thùy Trâm and martyr Nguyễn Văn Thạc, published the book.

Since its launching on April 30 on the occasion of the Reunification Day, the series has been widely read.

The recent honouring ceremony, aiming to celebrate the 76th anniversary of the Việt Nam’s People Army (22/12/1944-22/12/2020), gathered two special guests from Quảng Ngãi, which witnessed some of the fiercest fightings during the war. They are war invalid Huỳnh Đoàn Sang and veteran Nguyễn Tấn Một, who both were the comrades of Trâm.

While Sang was a patient of Trâm when he received surgery for appendicitis, Một was a nurse working in the same battlefield surgery. In her diary, Trâm mentioned Sang on the first page.

During the exchange programme, the special guests shared with the audience their stories about the wartime as well as about their heroic comrade Trâm. — VNS

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