Vietnamese naval forces will organize a trip to the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago for the families of three soldiers who were killed during a Chinese attack on its reef in 1988.
The trip was proposed the Ho Chi Minh City-based Bien Dao Doan Tau Khong So Company after the family of soldier Doan Dac Hoach told Thanh Nien in an interview in May that they wanted to visit the place where their son died.
They plan to place flowers in the sea and burn incense to honor their son and his comrades.
The families of Hoach and the two other soldiers – Nguyen Thanh Hai and Bui Ba Kien -- will attend the trip, but more details have yet to be released.
The three soldiers died with 61 others on March 14, 1988 when Chinese soldiers launched a military assault against Gac Ma (Johnson South Reef or Chigua Reef), Len Dao (Lansdowne Reef) and Co Lin (Johnson North/Collins Reef) in a flagrant effort to seize the Spratly Islands and gain control over the entire East Sea.
Thanks to their brave resistance, Vietnam maintained its sovereignty over Len Dao and Co Lin, while China began its occupation of Gac Ma.
Thanh Nien newspaper, which has organized several meetings with the families of the martyrs nationwide to commemorate their sacrifice, is calling on contributions from local philanthropists to help the families of other slain soldiers have the same opportunity.
Earlier on July 2, Thanh Nien organized a ceremony to commemorate the sacrifice of two martyrs who died while protecting the DK1 oil platform from a typhoon in January of 1991.
At the ceremony held in the central province of Quang Binh, the newspaper, in collaboration with the Asia Foods Corporation, gave VND20 million (US$945) to each of the families of martyrs Pham Tao and Ho Cong Hien.
Tao and Hien were among nine naval sailors who died as the result of typhoons since the oil platform was built in July 1989 as a base designed to both provide support to fishermen and play a role in national defense.
Thanh Nien has recently also organized ceremonies for other soldiers throughout Vietnam, pledging money to their families.