A memorial park that will be built in south-central Vietnam this year in memory of 64 Vietnamese naval soldiers who fell while protecting the country’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago against Chinese invaders in 1988 will become a symbol of patriotism, a labor official has said.
(Youth) newspaper on Thursday, one day before a ceremony was held to lay foundation stones for the park in Cam Lam District of the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, of which Truong Sa is an island district.
The historical battle on March 14, 1988 on Gac Ma Island (Johnson South Reef) of the Truong Sa archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea has become an imprint that will never fade in the heart of every Vietnamese, said the VGCL leader, who is also a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
“At that time, Vietnamese naval soldiers were doing their duty of safeguarding the fatherland and building works to serve the life of soldiers and people in Truong Sa when they were attacked by Chinese warships,” Tung said.
During the battle, many Vietnamese soldiers stood in a circle around the fatherland’s flag to protect it as an action to affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago, the official said.
According to a media note issued by the VGCL, that clash left three Vietnamese ships on fire and then sunk, three Vietnamese combatants dead, eleven soldiers injured, and 70 others missing.
China later returned to Vietnam 10 prisoners of war, while 64 other Vietnamese naval soldiers remained missing and were considered as having perished in the battle, the note said.
“In commemoration of the fallen combatants in the battle to protect the fatherland’s sovereignty, I have long nurtured an idea to build a memorial park for them,” Tung said.
The official affirmed that the future park, of which the construction will start this year, will serve not only as a common worship place for people to pay tribute to the Gac Ma martyrs but also as evidence to tell future generations that Gac Ma belongs to Vietnam and that Truong Sa and Hoang Sa (Paracels) – an island district of the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang – are under Vietnam’s sovereignty.
“The Chinese have forcefully occupied Hoang Sa, Gac Ma, and some other islands in Truong Sa. Such occupation is temporary and Vietnamese generations have the responsibility to claim back these sacred territories of the fatherland,” Tung said.
He also stressed that “the memorial park will serve as a common venue for Vietnamese from around the world to gather and share the same determination, which is to cope with the foreign force that always wants to exclusively occupy the East Vietnam Sea and to invade our seas and islands.”
“I call on everybody to send a text message saying ‘GM’ to the number 1407 as a contribution of VND14,000 [US$0.65] to the building of the park,” the VGCL leader said.
Đăng ký: VietNam News