Viet Nam News
QUẢNG TRỊ — A requiem ceremony was held in the central province of Quảng Trị on July 21 to commemorate soldiers who died during an 81-day battle in the summer of 1972.
Jointly held by the Quảng Trị Ancient Citadel Soldier Association and the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), the ceremony was among the events to mark the 71st anniversary of the Việt Nam War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day (July 27).
It was attended by representatives from ministries, departments, armed forces, local officials and heroic Vietnamese mothers, and over 3,000 dignitaries, monks, nuns and Buddhist followers.
Fierce fighting for control of the citadel, the central province’s symbol of power, started from June 28 and ended on September 26 of 1972, the height of Việt Nam’s resistance war against the Americans, resulting in heavy casualties on both sides. The fight contributed to Việt Nam’s triumph at the Paris Conference in 1973 and was a prerequisite for the General Offensive and uprising in the spring of 1975, which liberated the south and reunified the country.
The old citadel, just under 3,000sq.m, and a small area around it was bombarded by the combined firepower of American B52 strategic bombers, the 7th Fleet and thousands of artillery pieces.
An estimated 328,000 tonnes of bombs were dropped on the old citadel and a small town of some 10,000 houses. By the time the fighting ended, the town was almost levelled. No houses remained intact.
In recent days, a series of activities have been organised by local authorities, organisations and those in and outside the province to support the families of wounded soldiers and martyrs.
Hundreds of houses were presented to people who contributed to the revolution.
On the occasion, the Saigon – Hà Nội Bank gave 20 houses worth VNĐ50 million (US$2,200) each to members of the Quảng Trị Ancient Citadel Soldier Association, while HCM City also gave 12 houses totalling VNĐ600 million ($26,210) to the families of invalids and martyrs. — VNS