In remembrance of the 64 fallen men who were killed by Chinese troops whilst their annexation of the Spratly islands on 14 March 1988

87 year old Hoàng Đỗ commemorates the 64 fallen men with a special ceremony. His son was amongst the fallen soldiers.
Chinese troops opened fire on the two Vietnamese boats 604 and 605 which belonged to the Vietnamese navy.

31 years ago on 14 March 1988, Chinese troops launched an surprise attack to annex Gạc Ma island, part of the Spratly Islands which belong to Vietnam. Military personel were brave enough to protect the island and therefore protect the flag of the country they are serving for. Whilst protecting the flag, they also affirmed the sovereignty over the islands of Vietnam and were determined to not let the enemy take over the territory.

China brought their troops and heavy arms onto Gạc Ma island, a place which the Vietnamese army controlled. The annexing troops opened fire like being mad. Second lieutenant Trần Văn Phương, commander of the area, died instantly. Immediately, private first class Nguyễn Quang Lanh emerged and together with his comrades formed an circle to protect Vietnams flag. All of the Vietnamese soldiers on Gạc Ma island formed an indistructable circle, a symbol of determination and willingness to die for the sake of protecting Vietnams sacred sovereignty over its islands.

64 Vietnamese men were killed by China‘s annexing troops. And a part of Vietnamese waters and island are now being controlled by the Chinese. And they even built their illegal military bases there and continue to do so until today.

Today, were will burn some incense to commemorate the fallen soldiers. The country and its people will always remember their efforts.

Three years ago, on this very day, a delegation of Vietnamese associations in Europe came to the European Parliament in Brussels to hand over an open letter to condemn the combative and lawbreaking actions in the South and East China Sea by the Chinese regime.

Complete list of the fallen Vietnamese soldiers killed on 14 March 1988 on Gạc Ma island
Flowers floating in the open sea to commemorate the 64 fallen Vietnamese soldiers
14 March 2016: a delegation of Vietnamese associations came to the European parliament in Brussels to hand over an open letter condemning Chinese actions in the South China Sea

Nguyễn Thanh – VD-News

Translation:  Hoàng Chính – VD-News