Flowers and incense are offered at the monument dedicated to Gac Ma soldiers in Cam Lam district to pay tribute to the national heroes. (Photo: VNA)

Khanh Hoa (VNA) – The authorities of the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa and local armed forces gathered on March 14 to pay tribute to 64 naval officers and soldiers who lost their lives in a battle to protect Gac Ma (Johnson South) Reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago three decades ago.

They offered flowers and incense at the monument dedicated to Gac Ma soldiers built in Cam Lam district to show their gratitude to the heroes who bravely defended Vietnam’s sacred sea and island sovereignty and died with honour on March 14, 1988.

The monument lies at the centre of the 2.5-hectare memorial complex dedicated to 64 naval soldiers inaugurated in 2017. It features the naval soldiers standing holding hands in an “immortal circle” around the fatherland’s flag to protect it as an action to affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago.

The monument lies at the centre of the 2.5-hectare memorial complex dedicated to 64 naval soldiers. (Photo: VNA)

The delegation then visited the complex’s wind tombs and underground museum where the soldiers’ artifacts and personal items are displayed to tell visitors about their life and unyielding spirit.

Inside the underground museum where the Gac Ma soldiers’ artifacts and personal items are displayed. (Photo: VNA)

At this site, around 200 young people from Cam Lam district, Cam Ranh city, and Truong Sa district listened to Vu Duy Khanh, an officer from Brigade 146- Naval Zone 4 recalling the heroic fight on Truong Sa waters as well as the 1988 Gac Ma battle.  

The province’s leaders have visited and presented gifts to relatives of local martyrs in commemoration of the historic battle.-VNA