PANO – The national flag which used to be hoisted on Truong Sa Lon Island of the central province of Khanh Hoa was handed over to Lieutenant Le Sy Nam, an officer of Border Post 317 A Pa Chai late last year.The event took place on the top of Khoang La San mountain of 1,866 meters high in Sin Thau commune, Muong Nhe district of the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien and also at landmarker No. Zero where Vietnam shares borders with both Laos and China.
From the Westernmost border place….
After six months long journey on both sea and mainland routes by vessel, automobile, motorbike and finally with seven hours climbing to reach the peak of the Khoang La San mountain, we could accomplish our mission of exchanging the sacred national flags between the two places with completely different geographical characteristics. Truong Sa archipelago in Khanh Hoa province is the first place in Vietnam to welcome the first sunlight in the day while Sin Thau commune, Muong Nhe district, Dien Bien province is the place to see off the last sunlight of the day.
Earlier, in November 2014, a number of national flags were exchanged at marker 18.2, Keng Mo Border Station, Border Post 311 Ka Lang in Muong Te district, Lai Chau province where the Black River runs through.
We came up with the idea of exchanging national flags during our working trip to Muong Nhe distrit, Dien Bien province and Muong Te district, Lai Chau province in April 2014 and it was completely supported by both Colonel Nguyen Van Ngoc, head of Border Post 311 Ka Lang and Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Duc Thang, head of Boder Post 317 A Pa Chai.
Immediately, officers and troops of these border posts held ceremonies to lower the national flags, signed and sealed on them and asked us to present them to their comrades in Truong Sa archipelago.
More touchingly, on the national flag of the Border Post 311 Ka Lang bears the following inscription;
“Lai Chau Border Post Command
Ka Lang Border Post
You and us are entrusted by the Party, the State and people with the sacred mission of defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Despites hardship, difficulties and potential risks, we, with our firm stance and Uncle Ho’s soldiers’ virtues, are always side by side with each other to firmly protect the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”.
Colonel Nguyen Van Ngoc also asked to bring the national flag used by the islander troops to the unit’s tradition house and said “Looking at that national flag, we, soldiers, will feel united and firm, and love the nation more”.
… to the “stormy” archipelago
Before our working trip to Truong Sa archipelago last May, we had talks on the phone with Lieutenant Colonel Luong Xuan Giap, Political Commissar of Truong Sa Lon Island; Captain Vu Duc Vinh, Deputy Political Commissar of Sinh Ton Dong Island; Captain Nguyen Van Khuong, Political Commissar of Nam Yet Island and other political commissars of islands in Truong Sa archipelago about the exchange of national flags. They were moved and waited to welcome the national flags from the westernmost border.
In the morning of May 7th, on the very day with celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign, we swapped the national flags between the two edges of the nation on Sinh Ton Dong Island, in front of the sovereignty marker. Captain Vu Duc Vinh was touched receiving the sacred national flag with the honest message from his beloved comrades who like him are days and nights protecting the northern border of the nation. On our trip, we also witnessed various national flag exchanges with Truong Sa Lon, Phan Vinh, Nam Yet and Tien Nu islands.
In Truong Sa Lon town, Lieutenant Colonel Luong Xuan Giap gave us the old national flag and its colour and hems had been partly damaged by time coping with the sea water, winds and the scorching sun.
Giap stressed that it is the soul of these national flags that have encouraged all officers and troops on the islands to firmly defend the national sacred sovereignty over seas and islands.
These national flags are not only simply national flags but also the blood, sweat, tears, patriotism and sacrifice of generations of Vietnamese with firm determination to protect the nation.
We finally completed the swap of national flags between places with the complete journey of the sun in Vietnam, from the east to the west and vice versa. The journey is of sympathy, sharing, patriotism and high determination of troops and people from the two furthermost parts of the country. Wherever they are either in mainland, border areas or islands, on mountains or plains, in urban or rural areas, all the Vietnamese people have ardent love for the country and always respect and preserve peace.
By Truong Giang and Cu Huong Translated by Mai Huong
Đăng ký: VietNam News