“Red cemetery”
  • By Le Chan Nhan | dtinews.vn | January 18, 2013 03:01 PM

While China continues to threaten Vietnamese sovereignty over the East Sea through the publication of the Sansha map, a renewed sense of nationalism has been stirred among the public here. Vietnamese ships passing through the East Sea have been showing their support by making a stop in the Island District of Truong Sa to wish the cadres, soldiers and people there a happy new year.


Patriotism means not forgetting people who have sacrificed their lives to protect their country. Therefore, normally, whenever making a visit to the Spratly Islands, delegations of visitors often hold ceremonies to commemorate the 64 naval soldiers who died protecting the Gac Ma, Len Dao and Co Lin island cluster during the attack by the Chinese on March 14, 1988. These heroes were laid to rest in the national sea area, in places unmarked by any tombstones. Instead, red wreathes can be seen on the sea surface on the day of commemoration, earning the place the name “Red cemetery”. An overwhelming sense of national pride and gratitude has welled up among many visitors to the site in remembrance of the soldiers.

The Vietnamese naval soldiers who bravely laid down their lives to protect the Spratly Islands will forever be recorded in the minds of their countrymen. However, the annals of the nation's history have also recorded many other examples of such supreme sacrifices. Regardless of the period when they sacrificed their lives, they will be remembered as scions who gave their lives for Vietnamese independence. They all had families, and the pain of their wives, children, mothers and fathers they left behind remain the same, just like the fact that these soldiers all gave their lives to a good cause. Their only consolation is that their souls will linger upon the East Sea of Vietnam, in the "Red Cemetery".

As the country faces further threats over sovereignty of the East Sea and its islands, the unity and fortitude that Vietnamese have shown throughout history will be more vital than ever. The East Sea issue has brought unity among Vietnamese both inside and outside the country in opposition to Chinese attempts at encroachment upon the nation's sovereignty.

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