|Families of martyrs join a memorial service in Đà Nẵng. 6ixty four naval engineers were killed by Chinese armed men in protection of Gạc Ma (Johnson South) Reef of Trường Sa (Spratly) Archipelago on March 14, 1988. Chinese then illegally occupied the reef by using armed force (six frigate missile). – VNS Photos Công Thành|
ĐÀ NẴNG – Former soldiers of the Navy Engineering Regiment No 83 who fought to protect the Gạc Ma (Johnson South) Reef, part of the Trường Sa (Spratly) Archipelago, from Chinese invaders in 1988 hosted a memorial service for 64 of their comrades on Thursday.
|Canoes with garlands are released to the sea in a memorial ceremony for naval martyrs.|
Veterans who were stationed on the Trường Sa Archipelago and the families of those who lost their lives released wreaths to pay homage to the fallen soldiers.
|Ex-naval soldiers of the Navy Engineering Regiment No 83, who fought to protect Gạc Ma (Johnson South) Reef.|
A group of Vietnamese engineers were sent to build concrete structures on Gạc Ma, Cô Lin and Len Đao (Landsdowne) Reefs on March 14, 1988, but were attacked by six Chinese frigates.
Sixtey four engineers were killed, 11 wounded and nine kept in prison by the Chinese navy. Two unarmed cargo ships were sunk in the incident.
|Families of martyrs carry paper-made steles printed with names of the martyrs who were killed by Chinese armed men on March 14, 1988.|
“Our soldiers bravely defended the country’s sovereignty until they died. Their hands created a Gạc Ma ‘immortal circle’ on the sea. They sacrificed their lives for their country,” Colonel Nguyễn Duy Lập, former commander of Regiment No 83, said at the ceremony.
The successful defence of Gạc Ma Reef helped Vietnamese forces protect Cô Lin and Len Đao from attacks by the Chinese. – VNS