Quang Tri - Land of Heroism

12:56:05 PM | 22/10/2014

Back to the era of Hung Kings thousands of years ago, Quang Tri played an important role in the State of Van Lang - Au Lac. It lay in the middle of the country. Over centuries with many independence wars, this land gave birth to unforgettable names of heroes.
“Take your light steps and speak in low voice
The Citadel is wide but why do my comrades lie so narrowly
Every piece of land is a piece of life
That makes me choked”
(Citadel Land by Pham Dinh Lan)
Forty years ago, Quang Tri Town was as beautiful as a watercolour picture but it was torn down during the American War. Tens of thousands of warriors fell down to protect every piece of land until the National Liberation and Reunification in 1975. Quang Tri Citadel has today become the evidence of time and the eloquent demonstration of the eternal will of this war-torn land. According to estimates, the amount of bombs the US Army dropped on Quang Tri Town in 81 days in 1972 were equivalent to seven nuclear bombs. But, the military and people here still clung resiliently and fought pluckily to hold gains on the battlefield.
Immediately when we set foot on Quang Tri, we will see the romantic scene of the Ben Hai River and Hien Luong Bridge at the 17th Parallel - the provisional military demarcation line after the Geneva Agreement was signed. This place divided the nation, embodied the pain of the nation, witnessed the most magnanimous and difficult historical events of the people of Vietnam during the American War. Time flies but the memories of the war-torn land cannot fade away. Before our eyes are the works that glorify our victory and ease our pain.
During the fiercest period during the American War (1966 - 1972), the surface of land became too hard to live on the demilitarised zone along the provisional military demarcation line (17th Parallel) and man had to dig into the ground to make home. Vinh Moc Tunnel Village by the Coast of Vinh Linh fought resiliently against the "White Clearance" Plan of the US Army. All living and warfare activities were conducted underground.
Vinh Moc Tunnel Village was twice named the Hero of People's Armed Forces. In 1976, the Ministry of Culture and Information (currently the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) recognised Vinh Moc Tunnel Village as a National Monument and added it to the list of specially important monuments.
Lao Bao Prison used to be one of the largest prisons in Indochina. It imprisoned many famous communist revolutionaries who later became key leaders of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam like Poet To Huu, General Nguyen Chi Thanh, Tran Van Cung, Le Chuong and Le The Tiet. After reunification, Lao Bao Prison was recognised as a "national historic - cultural relic."
It is said that Quang Tri is the miniature of gruelling and sacrificing struggle of the people of Vietnam. Nearly 60,000 soldiers were rested in 72 cemeteries of martyrs in the province. Truong Son Cemetery and Road 9 Cemetery are the rest place of more than 10,000 fallen warriors each.
A famous tourist destination in Quang Tri is La Vang Church. Situated in Hai Lang district in the Archdiocese of Hue, this is an important place of pilgrimage for Catholics in Vietnam. The Virgin Mary manifested here in 1798. A church was built near three banyan trees the Holy See raised to the status of La Vang Minor Basilica in 1961.
Quang Tri today has changed a lot. A series of production facilities have been built across the province, including Quan Ngang Industrial Park, Nam Dong Ha Industrial Park, Lao Bao Special Economic - Commercial Zone, La Lay International Border Gate, and industrial factories. Roads running past the province are also upgraded or built, including Ho Chi Minh Road and National Road 1A. Quang Tri province is proud to have Cua Viet and My Thuy beaches. The Party, the government and the people are striving to make Quang Tri an average province of the nation.
Thuy Vu