President Nguyen Minh Triet extolled great contributions of young volunteers to the country’s liberation cause at a ceremony held in central Quang Binh province on July 11 to pay gratitude to former volunteers who sacrificed their lives during the war against the US.

The President said the young volunteers were always present at places that were the main targets of the US army’s bombardment to clear up bombs and repair roads, ensuring smooth transport of ammunitions, foods and other necessities from the north rear to the southern front.

Millions of young people from rural and urban, highland and lowland areas registered to join the voluntary forces during the war time.

The President stressed the need to continue caring for families of fallen and invalid soldiers and people who made meritorious contributions to the nation, and protecting the revolutionary achievements that many generations of Vietnamese had to pay their blood for.

At the ceremony, the Transport Construction Company 5 presented 183 houses each worth 20 million VND and 400 million VND in cash to former volunteers in 17 provinces and cities nationwide.

The ceremony was to mark the 59th anniversary of the Vietnamese voluntary force’ traditional day (July 15) and the 62nd Day of War Invalids and Fallen Soldiers (July 27).

Earlier, the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in central Da Nang city held requiems for fallen volunteers at the Tan Ap, Van Ninh and Tho Loc cemetaries in Quang Binh province.

On the occasion, a ceremony was held in Hanoi on July 11 to launch a project to cast a bronze bell for the bell-tower at the Dong Loc T-junction relic site in central Ha Tinh province to commemorate fallen soldiers and volunteers.

The bell, which will have a weight of 5 tonnes, a height of 3.6m and a diameter of 1.95m, will be casted by craftsmen from Yen Phu ward, Hanoi capital city.

The construction of the Dong Loc bell-tower and temple began two years ago. The 12,500 sq.m. complex includes a 1.570 sq.m temple, a three-door gate and a 7-floor tower, which has a total cost of 32 billion VND.

After two years, more than 2,000 organisations and individuals have donated nearly 6 billion VND to the project.

The Dong Loc T-junction, which played a vital role in the transport of necessities and ammunitions from the north and the south, is well-known for the story of 10 young female volunteers, all of them were unmarried, who sacrificed their lives to ensure transport on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Between 1965-1968, at this T-junction, the US army dropped nearly 50,000 bombs and fired tens of thousands of missiles in the hope of cutting off the transport route to the southern front.

Dong Loc has become a historical symbol for the nation’s patriotic traditions./.