Hanoi (VNA) – When wars ended, there was no joy as great as the joy of reunion, but there was also no pain as immense as the pain that the beloved did not return on the victory days.

“Monuments” of enormous sacrifice

More than 50 years have passed since her two sons departed for the battlefield and did not come back, Nguyen Thi Su, a 102-year-old holder of Heroic Vietnamese Mother title in Hop Thanh commune of Hoa Binh city, the northern province of Hoa Binh, can only commemorate them by offering incense.

Her sons, Nguyen Van Dieu and Nguyen Hung Chuoc, laid down their lives during wartime. While Chuoc’s remains were brought back and reburied in his hometown in 2017, the other hasn’t. The family only received a notice of Dieu’s death, but until now, they still don’t know where and when he fell so as to repatriate his remains.

Su’s family chose the day they received the death notice of Dieu as his death anniversary. For dozens of years, on his death anniversary, the mother offered incense to him with the dire hope that he would return one day as the whole family are still waiting for him. The separation has lasted for decades, and they only know that Dieu’s remains have merged into the land, somewhere in the S-shaped nation.

Heroic Vietnamese Mothers – The ones who turn pain into momentum for life hinh anh 1Although Nguyen Thi Su is now 102 years old, she still prepares traditional medicine for locals (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Not only a Heroic Vietnamese Mother, Su herself was also a guerilla during the resistance war against France and honoured with the third-class Resistance Order.

Su has spent most of her life on making traditional medicine to help sick people with disadvantages, even in the time her family was poor and when it takes days to pick, cut and dry herbs for each prescription that doesn’t cost much.

At present, the centenarian is still healthy and has a sound mind to continue making traditional medicine. She is considered a bright example of kindness and sacrifice for younger generations.

Not only Su but also many other Heroic Vietnamese Mothers are silently devoting themselves to the community and ready to make contributions whenever the Fatherland needs.

During the days the whole country was struggling with the COVID-19 outbreak, the 95-year-old Ngo Thi Quyt in Go Vap district, Ho Chi Minh City, made hundreds of face masks for the poor.

Heroic Vietnamese Mothers – The ones who turn pain into momentum for life hinh anh 2Heroic Vietnamese Mother Le Thi Chi (R) talks about her donation to the COVID-19 combat at a recent programme (Photo: VNA)

In the central city of Da Nang, Le Thi Chi, 91, in Thanh Binh ward of Hai Chau district donated 5 million VND she had saved to the COVID-19 fight. Her husband and eldest son laid down their lives during wartime, and she is currently living with her youngest daughter.

Mothers like Su and Chi had their own stories, but those are also the stories of millions of Vietnamese families. In the song of triumph, there are also blood and tears of nearly 140,000 Heroic Vietnamese Mothers nationwide, who contributed their husbands, children and grandchildren to the revolution. Their pain does not last for months or years, but for their entire life.

During peacetime, weathering the losses, the Heroic Vietnamese Mothers have continued to dedicate to social activities. They have become true “monuments” of the nation and role models for younger generations to follow.

Mothers of all

During the protracted wars against France and the US, millions of Vietnamese women suffered the pain of losing their husbands and children. Some of them have become “immortal monuments” like Nguyen Thi Thu in Dien Thang Trung commune of Dien Ban town, the central province of Quang Nam.

Thu’s family has 12 martyrs, comprising nine sons, two maternal grandchildren and one son-in-law. Thu is the woman with the largest number of descendants falling in the two resistance wars that lasted for almost 30 years.

Heroic Vietnamese Mothers – The ones who turn pain into momentum for life hinh anh 3Mother Nguyen Thi Ty offers incense at her son’s grave at the martyrs’ cemetery of the Mekong Delta province of An Giang (Photo: VNA)

Heroic Vietnamese Mother Pham Thi Ngu in Ham Hiep commune of Ham Thuan Bac district, the central province of Binh Thuan, has eight children who are martyrs while Ngu herself also holds the Hero of the People’s Armed Forces title.

Tran Thi Mit in Hai Phu commune of Hai Lang district, central Quang Tri province, has nine children who laid down their lives for the sake of the Fatherland.

Nguyen Thi Ranh in Cu Chi district, HCM City, has eight children and two grandchildren who are martyrs, and she is also a Hero of the People’s Armed Forces.

Meanwhile, five of the eight children of Nguyen Thi Duong in Trieu Thanh commune of Trieu Phong district, central Quang Tri province, are martyrs.

All of them are heroic mothers of a heroic nation.

With the gratitude tradition, the Party and State began the policy of presenting and posthumously presenting the Heroic Vietnamese Mother title in 1994 with the issuance of the ordinance regulating this State title of honour.

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung said so far, the title has been bestowed or posthumously bestowed upon nearly 140,000 women, with Quang Nam province having the biggest number of honourees (nearly 15,260), followed by Ben Tre (6,905), Quang Ngai (6,802) and Hanoi (6,723).

[Heroic Vietnamese Mothers are “silent soldiers”: NA Chairwoman]

Over the past years, aside from benefits offered by the Party and State, the whole society has also expressed their gratitude to the Heroic Vietnamese Mothers via practical activities, including setting up gratitude funds, building houses, opening savings accounts, and caring for the women, Dung noted.

Among the nearly 140,000 Heroic Vietnamese Mothers, only more than 4,900 are still alive at present. In all localities, the movement of caring for them has attracted warm response from local residents who all share the view that the mothers’ children fell for the sake of the Fatherland, then they are the “mothers of all”.

Meeting with representatives of the Heroic Vietnamese Mothers on the occasion of the 73rd War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day (July 27) this year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed that the wars ended a long time ago, but the great pain and losses remain in all people, especially the Heroic Vietnamese Mothers.

Heroic Vietnamese Mothers – The ones who turn pain into momentum for life hinh anh 4Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc greets delegates at the 2020 meeting with representatives of the Heroic Vietnamese Mothers from nationwide (Photo: VNA)

The women’s lofty sacrifice and loyalty are bright examples of the revolutionary heroism, he said, adding that the Party, the State, all-level authorities and people have done their utmost and reserved the best attention, both material and spiritual, to care for the Heroic Vietnamese Mothers, thus partly compensating them for their sacrifice./.