A working delegation from the Navy, the Central Committee of Viet Nam Women’s Union and the four northern provinces of Quang Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Thai Binh and Nam Dinh stopped by Co Lin-Len Dao islands at 8am on May 7.
Hoang Thi Ai Nhien (third from left), Vice Chairwoman of Viet Nam Women’s Union, also leader of the working delegation visiting Truong Sa archipelago and platform DK1, and Major-general Tran Quang Tien (second from left), Commander of Nam Dinh provincial Military High Command, could not keep back their tears at a commemorative ceremony of heroic martyrs who died on Mar. 14, 1988 in a fight to defend national sovereignty over the waters around Co Lin-Len Dao islands.
At the commemorative ceremony, Colonel Nguyen Duc Nho, Deputy Chief of staff of the Navy, told more than 200 delegates of the working delegation on Truong Sa HQ 571 ship:
“During the battle, officers and soldiers in ships HQ 505, 604, 605 under Naval Brigade 125, officers and soldiers of Naval Brigade 146, Naval Sapper Regiment 83 staunchly and heroically overcame all difficulties and challenges, proving the Vietnamese intelligence and will. With the spirit of national sovereignty coming first, they courageously fought and accepted any sacrifice”.
“Bright models of Viet Nam’s heroism emerged during the battle, such as Lieutenant Colonel Tran Duc Thong, Vice Chief of Brigade 146, Captain Vu Phi Tru, captain of the ship HQ 604 and Sub-Lieutenant Tran Van Phuong, Deputy Commanding Officer of Gac Ma island, who wrapped the national flag around his body and encouraged his soldiers: “Don’t yield, shed our blood to protect the sovereignty and defend the honour of Viet Nam’s Naval tradition.
“Heroic Nguyen Van Lanh fought unyieldingly - in spite of a serious wound, he didn’t leave the battlefield, determined to protect the island to the end. Captain Vu Nhu Le maintained calmness and ingenuity in the face of fierce enemy assaults and commanded the ship HQ 505 to anchor at the Co Lin atoll and turn it into a fortified bastion to resist the enemy, affirming national sovereignty.”
A member of the working delegation floats a paper ship and flower into the waters in tribute to the martyrs. Photo: N.V.Hai
The delegation drop flowers and offerings into the waters to commemorate martyrs who sacrificed on March 14, 1988 in Co Lin-Len Dao. Photo: N.V.Hai
Colonel Nguyen Duc Nho said: “Although the Navy has tried its utmost, due to disadvantageous situation, many soldiers are still lying in the sea, with the archipelago affected by many gales all year round. They have fallen for the sovereignty of Truong Sa archipelago and the country. Their death left extreme pain, grief of mothers, fathers and wives who still stand behind doors every day to wait for their return. It also left a lot of sadness imprinted on the faces and eyes of orphans. This pain, grief and hopelessness has affected the lives of many fathers, mothers, wives and children everywhere.”
“The sky of Truong Sa is still blue, Truong Sa archipelago is still peaceful and has been developing day after day, but our souls are sad and empty, our tears are falling and we can hear somewhere the words of Sub-Lieutenant Tran Van Phuong, Deputy Commanding Officer of Gac Ma island.”
In a solemn, touched and tearful environment, the working delegation offered incense in tribute to the martyrs who had sacrificed their lives in Co Lin-Len Dao shoal islands and floated flowers into the waters in the sailors’ custom.
The activity took place on the occasion of the anniversary of the establishment of Viet Nam People’s Navy (May 7) and was one of activities during the working visit of the delegation of the Navy, Viet Nam Women’s Union and four provinces of Quang Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Thai Binh and Nam Dinh to Truong Sa archipelago./.