The legendary Truong Son Trail (better known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail), which has celebrated its 55th anniversary, has become a symbol of the Vietnamese army and people’s victories over foreign aggressors.

The path runs from the north to the south of Vietnam, and played an important role as a supply route for the southern battlefield when the country was separated.

The road was built under the leadership of the Communist Party and President Ho Chi Minh. Every centimetre of the trail was forged and maintained by the spilt blood and sacrifice of uncountable numbers of war heroes who laid down their lives in the war effort.

In June 1959, Vo Bam, one of the commanders for the construction of the road, decided to choose Khe Ho in Vinh Linh district in the central province of Quang Tri as the start of the trail.

Despite facing fierce bombardment from the enemy, Truong Son soldiers managed to work with different forces, including engineering, artillery, communications, infantry and armoured troops, to supply men and materials to the southern front line.

The success of the route was also attributed to the great support of locals living along the trail, especially those from ethnic minority groups, including Pako and Van Kieu.

Ho Van Thanh, a 71-year-old Van Kieu man who took part in activities to assist Truong Son soldiers in the war time, said during those days his village had about 30 households who were suffering from the war. Nevertheless, they did their utmost to join the Truong Son soldiers in transferring goods and helping the soldiers with food and information.

Major General Nguyen Ba Tong, former Commander of Army Corps 12, which was formed on the basis of the Truong Son engineering forces, said the route represents the great strength and will of the whole country.

He reiterated that more than 20,000 people laid down their lives, while tens of thousands of soldiers wounded along the trail or exposed to Agent Orange/Dioxin during the opening and maintenance of the route.

“The sacrifice cannot be described in words,” Tong said with tears in his eyes while lighting incenses at the graves of unknown heroes in the massive Truong Son Martyrs’ Cemetery in the central province of Quang Tri.

Time passes, but the contributions of the Truong Son solders will forever be written in the nation’s glorious history.-VNA