An association of veterans who defended the Quang Tri Ancient Citadel in 1972 and the Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam (BSV) held a solemn memorial service for fallen soldiers at the Citadel in central Quang Tri province on July 23 to mark the 68th War Martyrs and Invalids’ Day (July 27).

Thousands of veterans, relatives of martyrs, Buddhist monks and followers and local residents gathered at the citadel’s monument and on the bank of Thach Han River to offer incense and flowers and pray for the souls of the martyrs.

Tens of thousands of soldiers laid down their lives in a fierce battle against the US at the Quang Tri Ancient Citadel during 81 days and nights in the summer of 1972.

The central province was heavily devastated by more than 328,000 tonnes of bombs and shells dropped during the battle.

Later the same day, veterans floated thousands of lanterns along the Thach Han River and joined a concert titled “Hat cho dong doi toi nghe” (Sing for my comrades) to commemorate war heroes.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep visited the Lang Giang war-invalids sanatorium in northern Bac Giang province on July 23 and presented 15 million VND (687 USD) in gift packages to the invalids.

The deputy minister expressed his gratitude to those who shed their blood for the nation and reaffirmed that the Party and State continually aim to provide them with good care and favourable policies.

The sanatorium is home to about 60 war invalids from 21 cities and provinces nationwide who lost at least 80 percent of their work capability.

Local authorities of northern Ha Nam province visited local war-invalid sanatoriums in Duy Tien, Thanh Liem and Ba Sao districts and a number of others in Bac Ninh, Bac Giang and Ninh Binh provinces to grant gifts worth over 200 million VND (9,170 USD) to the invalids and their families.

Northern Vinh Phuc and Ninh Binh provinces alongside southern Binh Duong province have also been busy sending gifts to families of invalids and martyrs, policy beneficiaries and heroic mothers.

The High Command of Military Zone 5 teamed up with the Military Command of central Quang Ngai province to financially assist in rebuilding the graves of and memorial houses for six fallen Ba To guerrilla unit members and presented gifts to others, worth 480 million VND (22,000 USD).

In northern Lai Chau province, the remains of Lo Van Na, a Vietnamese volunteer soldier who died in Laos in 1970, was returned to his homeland and a burial service was held by local authorities.

In his remarks, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tong Thanh Hai highlighted the solidarity between the people of Vietnam and Laos which has been nurtured over decades, particularly during the two nations’ struggle for independence.-VNA