Veterans of naval engineering Regiment No 83 gather at a memorial service for 64 martyrs of the Gạc Ma Reef fight 32 years ago. A memorial site was built at Mân Quang Bay in Đà Nẵng City. — VNS Photos Nga Sơn
ĐÀ NẴNG – A memorial service was held in honour of 64 martyrs who fought to protect the Gạc Ma (Johnson South) Reef, part of the Trường Sa (Spratly) Archipelago, from Chinese invaders in 1988, at Mân Quang Wharf on Saturday.
The ceremony drew 30 representatives of families and veterans.
Colonel Nguyễn Duy Lập, former commander of Regiment No 83, reviewed the fight by Vietnamese naval soldiers against Chinese invaders 32 years ago, when soldiers of the Navy Engineering Regiment No 83 fought to protect Gạc Ma (Johnson South) Reef.
They were sent to build concrete structures on Gạc Ma, Cô Lin and Len Đao (Landsdowne) reefs on March 14, 1988, but were attacked by six Chinese frigates.
Sixty-four engineers were killed, 11 wounded and nine imprisoned by the Chinese navy. Two unarmed cargo ships were sunk in the incident.
March 14 is an annual event honouring martyrs and their families as well as veterans who helped create a historical landmark for the Vietnamese navy in the protection of the country’s islands and sea.
Many martyrs laid down their lives at sea, and their souls live on with the country’s history. Nine martyrs were from Đà Nẵng and 14 from Quảng Bình Province.
The brave fight on Gạc Ma Reef helped the Vietnamese navy protect two other reefs – Cô Lin and Len Đao – from attacks by Chinese forces.
An area near Mân Quang Bay was built as a site for hosting annual memorial services for martyrs in the fight to protect Gạc Ma Reef. – VNS
Families and veterans join a memorial service in honour of martyrs from the Gạc Ma Reef fight 32 years ago.