At 8 am on May 16, ship HQ571 of the Military Zone 4 - one of the most modern ships in Viet Nam - departed from Cat Lai Military Port in Ho Chi Minh City, transporting a delegation of Ha Noi officials to the island district of Truong Sa.
The delegation, led by Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Tuong Phi Chien, crossed a thousand leagues to bring the warm sentiments of the capital city’s Party Committee, authorities and people to the Truong Sa island district in central Khanh Hoa province and the DK1 platform on the island.
Eagerness, palpitation and enthusiasm were common states of mind of all 60 members of the delegation as they crossed the sea to quickly arrive at the place of waves and winds.
From Ha Noi to Truong Sa
Leaving Ha Noi with their shoulders laden with luggage, the delegation members were present at the headquarters of the Southern Naval High Command, located in Ton Duc Thang Road, Ho Chi Minh City near the Sai Gon River before departing for Truong Sa island district. The faces of all people were alight with joy when joining the trip, considered the only one in their lives.
Standing amidst a huge pile of luggage and goods, Permanent Vice Secretary of the Party Committee of Hai Ba Trung district Nguyen Ton Luong sought every way to protect a Bo De (snowbell) tree, or a Bodhi tree, considering it a pretty thing. He said this is the most special gift that Ha Noi people present to the people of the Truong Sa island district. The tree was cultivated in the Tran Quoc pagoda in Ha Noi. It is a branch of the Bodhi tree that Indian President Rajendra Prasad directly presented to President Ho Chi Minh on March 24, 1959 during his friendship visit to Viet Nam. As a symbol of education, enlightenment and saving living beings, giving up “Lust, Hatred & Delusion” in each person, when grown on the sacred land of the country, the tree will blossom and bud, bringing religious beliefs to Buddhist followers and a peaceful life to the people.
Busy herself with transporting several boxes of luggage from the plane’s carry-on compartment, Nguyen Thi Hoa, Head of the Ha Noi Plant Protection Department, said, “Knowing that the islands lack vegetables, we try to carry various kinds of vegetable seeds to present to soldiers and people on the islands”. In addition, she also carried over 20 kg of absorbent plastic capsules capable of storing water, to ensure sufficient fresh water for vegetables. This may be considered an effective solution to deal with fresh water shortages for plants on the islands.
Entrusted to be responsible for logistical and technical work for the trip, Colonel Le Hien Van, Deputy Political Commissar of the Capital High Command said, for nearly one month, he and authorised units gathered to prepare gifts for the people and soldiers on the islands. Agencies, units and localities with people joining the delegation wanted to present the most significant gifts to Truong Sa to show their sentiments, so they carried a large volume of goods.
For example, the Ha Noi Youth Union brought to the islands a letter full of sentiments of top graduates, and sets of drums and red ties for pupils; the municipal Association of Literature and Arts presented writings on Truong Sa and oil paintings representing the connection between the capital city and beloved Truong Sa; and artists presented songs on the islands. The delegation also carried many utensils for daily use, books, sports equipment and above all else, the whole hearts of Ha Noi people to Truong Sa.
Bringing Truong Sa closer to the mainland
Like other members of the delegation, this was the first time Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Tuong Phi Chien had visited the Truong Sa island district. Also eager and embarrassed, he did not forget to hasten all divisions to make good preparations for the trip in order to vividly transmit the sentiments of the capital city’s Party Committee, army and people towards Truong Sa in the spirit of “Truong Sa for the nation, the nation for Truong Sa”.
He said besides sending the close sentiments and practical gifts from the mainland, the Ha Noi delegation will together with the soldiers and people on the islands cut the ribbon to inaugurate a cultural house on Son Tu Tay island. With this gift, Ha Noi wishes to help enrich the spiritual life of the island district’s people.
The inauguration of the cultural house became more significant as it took place on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of liberation of south Viet Nam and national reunification and the 57th anniversary of Naval Soldiers’ Traditional Day, affirming that the capital city of Ha Noi always stands side by side with Truong Sa./.