Gac Ma – The Immortal Rhapsody
|A ceremony was held at the memorial site dedicated to the Gac Ma soldiers in Cam Lam district, the south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, on March 13 night. Photo: nld.com.vn|
A ceremony was held at the memorial site dedicated to the Gac Ma soldiers in Cam Lam district, the south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, on March 13 night in memory of the 64 officers and soldiers of the Vietnam People’s Navy who laid down their lives defending the country’s sea and island sovereignty 35 years ago (March 14, 1988).
In his remarks, Senior Colonel Nguyen Van Hai, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Military Command of Khanh Hoa province, said millions of eminent sons sacrificed their lives for national independence and liberation.
Their sacrifice will be in the mind of the Party, State and people forever, he affirmed.
Thirty-five years ago, on Gac Ma, the officers and soldiers stood imposingly to form a circle which has erected a monument of immortality, affirming the national sea and island sovereignty, Hai continued.
At the ceremony, Truong Tan Sang, former President; Truong Hoa Binh, former Prime Minister; Nguyen Hai Ninh, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee; and other officials offered incense and flowers to the fallen soldiers. The participants also released 64 lanterns at the underground exhibition area in memory of the soldiers.
They recalled the Gac Ma battle during which China, with warships and modern weapons, suddenly attacked and fired on three Vietnamese ships, and occupied some of Vietnam’s reefs.
Poorly armed and without trenches but patriotism and determination, the Vietnamese officers and soldiers on Ships HQ 604, HQ 605 and HQ 505 and forces on Gac Ma, Co Lin and Len Dao displayed their strong will, bravery and determination in defending national sovereignty over seas and islands.
“Don’t step back. Let our blood paint the national flag and the glorious tradition of the force," were the words by Martyr Second Lieutenant Tran Van Phuong, deputy commander of the Gac Ma Island. That moment reflected not only their heroism spirit but also the position of the authentic owners of the seas and islands under any circumstances.
Major Vu Huy Le, in the face of the situation of losing the island within a short time, calmly and cleverly commanded Ship HQ505 to both fight and rush to Co Lin, making itself a fortress and an inviolable sovereign landmark.
Their images have reminded the younger generations to always stay resolved to defend every inch of land and sea for which ancestors shed blood to protect./.
Carrying forward the traditions
In its notice, the information and education board of Khanh Hoa province’s Party Committee said the celebration and the art programme at the memorial site dedicated to the Gac Ma soldiers offered a chance for the current generation to express their gratitude to the nation’s eminent sons who devoted their lives to the Motherland.
It affirmed the resolve to carry forward the traditions to deserve the sacrifice of the previous generation, and make all-out efforts for the defence of the nation’s sacred sea and island sovereignty.
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