(VOV) - A ceremony was held recently on Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago to pay tribute to 64 Vietnamese soldiers who laid down their lives during the 1988 fire exchange with China to defend the islands.
The ceremony, held by Vietnam People’s Navy officers and crewmen of Ship HQ 936, Brigade 146, aimed to honour the fallen combatants and instill patriotism in younger navy soldiers.
Truong Sa has hundreds of coral reefs and islands of various sizes. Local navy soldiers described Gac Ma, Len Dao and Colin islands, where the Vietnamese navy exchanged fire with Chinese soldiers in 1988 as the “Red Cemetery”, the final resting place of 64 soldiers who gave their lives defending the islands.
Many young soldiers at the ceremony could not hold back their emotions after hearing about the event that took place more than 23 years ago. Sergeant Vi Thanh Trung Dong who is stationed on Colin island said, “We are grateful for our predecessors’ lofty sacrifices and are determined to firmly defend our sovereign islands.”
On hearing the story, Sergeant Nguyen Huy Tuan was very moved and said as a young soldier he is proud to be a part of the Vietnam People’s Army. “We will do our utmost to fulfill the tasks entrusted to us by the Vietnam People’s Navy”, said Tuan.
Senior lieutenant colonel Nguyen Van Thu, deputy political commissar of Brigade 164, vowed to uphold the glorious tradition of the Vietnamese naval force and encouraged the young soldiers to be vigilant against the enemy’s insidious schemes and staunchly defend Vietnam’s seas and islands in all circumstances.