On August 14, the Binh Tay Food Joint Stock Company, ‘Binhtayfood,’ organised an event to raise fund for school pupils living in Truong Sa Archipelago. Attending the event after a tiring day, Ho Hoang Kiem, head of the noodle production workshop, was moved but still smiling: “I am so happy to take part in such a meaningful programme organised by the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund and the Ho Chi Minh City Law newspaper to raise fund for the building of schools in Truong Sa”.
The marine police will ensure the strict enforcement of law at sea and well perform the search and rescue task and other entrusted missions. They will coordinate with the Naval Force to play the core role in protecting sovereignty over sea, islands and continental shelf, national interests and economic interests at sea. At the same time, the marine police will be a core force that will coordinate and cooperate with other forces and people nationwide in managing and maintaining maritime security under Vietnamese and international law, keeping a peaceful and stable environment for socio-economic development and meeting the requirements of the cause of national construction and defence in the new period
Following in the footsteps of hardened detachments of Ly Son Island soldiers in the past, the young men from Quang Nam and Da Nang, prior to 1975, crossed the sea to guard Hoang Sa Island. These days, memories of the remote island are still fresh in those people.
In the coastal area in the central Quang Ngai province, there is a story telling of fishermen who used to sail to Hoang Sa archipelago to fish over 50 years ago. Fisherman Do Ban (born in 1925), who is now living in Nghia An commune, is one of those. Lighting a joss stick on the altar, Ban whispered the names of two fishermen, who went to Hoang Sa with him when they were young. They are Do Ry and Ta Hoa. Both of them have already died. The only thing they left to their children is the pride of their time while they were in Hoang Sa 60 years ago.
On April 28, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 568 to ratify the plan for the economic development of Viet Nam’s islands by 2020. The plan underlines the need to develop the island economies in a rapid, effective and sustainable manner. The move aims to create a breakthrough in maritime, island and coastal economic development while turning the network of islands into a strong line of defence, protecting the country’s sovereignty and its sovereign right over its seas and islands. Accordingly, major orientations mapped out in Viet Nam’s Sea Strategy have opened up a new vision and approach for island economic development.
Truong Sa soldiers eat mainly canned food for their daily meals. Upon being asked about their material difficulties, they just laughed. For them, it is “nothing of concern”. During the US war, poet Pham Tien Duat made clear the soldiers spirit with just one line of poetry “A small injury is not worth admitting to hospital (in “Nho” (Miss) poem). Not until we met with the Truong Sa soldiers did we see that the predecessors’ optimism and revolutionary spirit remains overflowing in today’s young soldiers.
They are stationed here on the task of defending the sovereignty of the country’s waters and islands, living in the severe weather of the central coast all year round. The majority of them trained at the Naval school while a number of the soldiers from the Naval Brigade moved to the Marine Police. Many of them said they had served in the seas off the Truong Sa archipelago.
There are eight lighthouses on eight islands and island points belonging to Truong Sa archipelago, Khanh Hoa province. These lighthouses are not only marks for ships passing-by at night amid boundless ocean, but also confirm the sovereignty over sea and islands of Viet Nam. These lighthouses never go off, because they are lit up by the patriotism of soldiers on Truong Sa archipelago.