Overview of the requiem (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A requiem was held at Tu An pagoda in Germany’s Berlin capital on March 18 to commemorate 64 soldiers who laid down their lives to defend Gac Ma (Johnson South) Reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago 30 years ago.

The event was chaired by Venerable Thich Tu Nhon – head of Tu An pagoda, attracting the attention of Buddhist dignitaries and followers, representatives from the Vietnamese war veterans’ association in Berlin-Brandenburg, and nearly 100 Vietnamese people living in Berlin and its surrounding areas.

Participants offered incense and prayed for the fallen soldiers.

Venerable Thich Tu Nhon said that the requiem is organised annually to show the Vietnamese community’s deep gratitude to the fallen combatants.

The Gac Ma battle took place on March 14, 1988.

Last year, a memorial site dedicated to the 64 martyrs was inaugurated in Cam Hai Dong commune, Cam Lam district of the central province of Khanh Hoa.

The highlight of the site is a monument featuring the naval soldiers holding hands in an “eternal circle” to safeguard the national flag symbolising the national sovereignty on Gac Ma reef.

The work was built with money contributed by workers and public servants nationwide through trade union organisations under a programme launched by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour.-VNA