A mother lights incense at the grave of her son who was one of 64 Vietnamese soldiers killed while fighting to protect Gạc Ma Island, part of the Trường Sa (Spartly) Archipelago, from Chinese invaders on March 14, 1988. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Thành
HÀ NỘI – A memorial service for 64 Vietnamese soldiers who fought to protect Gạc Ma Island, part of the Trường Sa (Spartly) Archipelago, from Chinese invaders on March 14, 1988 was held yesterday in the central Đà Nẵng City by the Liaison Committee for Marine Engineer Officers.
War veterans who used to work on the Trường Sa Archipelago, officials, soldiers whose comrades were sacrificed in the battle to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty and local people gathered at the Region II Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (Đà Nẵng MRCC)’s quay to burn incense and pay homage to the fallen soldiers.
“These days remind us of the soldiers, the comrades who sacrificed and devoted their youth to protect our nation’s sea and islands,” former Party secretary and Second in Command of Regiment 83 (now Brigade 83 of the Việt Nam People’s Navy), Hoàng Văn Hoan said.
“You, the soldiers who lied down right at the heart of the national sea so that our generation and future generations will never forget the day March 14,” Hoan said, facing an altar inscribed with the names of the 64 soldiers.
“We will remember your service and pledge to follow by your glorious tradition in the cause of national sovereign defence.”
A large wreath of fresh flowers bearing the words “Forever remember martyrs who sacrificed their life at Gạc Ma Island – Trường Sa on March 14, 1988” and flower-made lanterns were also released on the blue sea to commemorate the soldiers.
Memorial services for the 64 soldiers of the Gạc Ma battle were also held by Vietnamese communities in France, Germany and India. — VNS