A festival and cultural exchange entitled “War Memories and a Desire for Peace” will be held in Quang Tri province, the scene of some fiercest fighting during the US war, to mark the 62 nd anniversary of War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day (July 27).

At a press briefing in Hanoi on July 15, the programme’s sponsors said that the event will take place from July 24-26, including a requiem to pray for the fallen soldiers’ souls at the Road No. 9 Cemetery and a ceremony to inaugurate a wharf to drop flowers in the Thach Han River.

The focus of the programme will be cultural exchange, with documentary films, art performances and a meeting with veterans who fought on the Quang Tri battlefield.

Over 100 young overseas Vietnamese who are visiting their homeland for the 2009 summer camp will take part in the programme.

Quang Tri has the largest number of cemeteries in the country with 72 cemeteries where over 60,000 soldiers from all corners of the country rest in peace.

The Vietnamese Government has implemented many policies to take care of people who rendered services to the nation.

At present, over 8.2 million people, who are war invalids, veterans and the mothers and relatives of fallen soldiers, are receiving care and benefits from the State. 85 percent of families under the policy have living conditions higher than the average local standard.

The movement “Paying the Debt of Gratitude” has become a regular activity for the community. The “Paying the Debt of Gratitude” Fund has mobilised billions of VND from individuals and organisations to build gift houses, present savings accounts and provide scholarships to those who have made contributions to the nation./.