After one year of construction, the Truong Son-Ben Tat Martyrs Temple was completed over an area of 3,100 square meters on a hilltop, near other historical sites such as the Truong Son National Martyrs Cemetery, Ben Tat suspension bridge, Ben Hai River, and the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail.
|Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan and other politicians at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Truong Son-Ben Tat Martyrs Temple on July 25 (Photo: SGGP) |
The temple is part of the program ‘Sentimental Attachment for Truong Son Road’, organized by Saigon Giai Phong Newspaper in September 2009.
This is one of five temples planned to be erected along Truong Son Road to express gratitude towards the people here who sacrificed their lives for the independence of Vietnam.
The Temple has been constructed in traditional Vietnamese architectural style with three rooms, yellow glazed tiles, a couple of dragons at the entrance, etc. In the precinct is a resting place for tourists and a very high granite memorial slab with names of martyrs who died on the Truong Son Road during war time.
The construction of the Temple cost VND10 billion (approx. US$479,390), which was donated by Vietcombank, with its main investor being the Quang Tri Conservation Center for Monuments and Landscapes.
The part of Truong Son Road which goes through Ben Tat Stream, the area upstream of Ben Hai River located in Vinh Truong Commune, was once considered the main route for the North Vietnamese soldiers to supply food as well as weapons to people in the south.
Due to its strategic location during war time, the US Army at that time dropped countless bombs on this area, killing thousands of Vietnamese and destroying the Ben Tat suspension bridge again and again. Thousands of North Vietnamese soldiers died while trying to rebuild the bridge and clear the way.
Because of its history, the area was chosen for the construction of the Martyrs Temple after being classified as a national historical monument in 1986.
The Party Central Committee member and Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 25.
Other politicians participating in the ceremony were Le Huu Phuc, Party Central Committee member and Secretary of the Quang Tri Province Party Committee; Doan Mau Diep, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs; Nguyen Duc Cuong, Chairman of the Quang Tri Province People’s Committee; Tran The Tuyen, former Editor-in-Chief of Saigon Giai Phong Newspaper and advisor for ‘Sentimental Attachment for Truong Son Road; Nguyen Hoa Binh, Chairman of the Board of Management of Vietcombank; Phan Khac Hy, former Deputy Commander of the Truong Son Soldiers and Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese Association Tradition of Truong Son Road - Ho Chi Minh; and Nguyen Phuoc Thanh, director-general of Vietcombank.
After the grand opening ceremony, many people came to light incense and pray for the dead soldiers in the Temple.