Spending time searching and collecting martyrs’ remains

Ha Giang is a province in the Northeastern region of Vietnam, with rugged terrain and harsh weather conditions. During national resistance war against foreign invaders, the province witnessed a number of fierce battles, and many officers and soldiers laid down their lives there.

Reportedly, there were 4,267 soldiers lost in action in the province. However, only 3,024 of them have been collected. The team has to search and collect 1,243 sets of martyrs’ remains left.

A memorial and burial service held at Vi Xuyen National War Cemetery, Ha Giang province

Ha Giang heavily suffers from war aftermaths, such as bombs, mines and explosives. Currently, the province is implementing the second phase of a clearance project on a total area of 1,500 hectares towards 2025, with over 80% completed. As of 2025, when completing the clearance work under the second phase in Ha Giang province, about 5,670 more hectares need to be cleared to serve the search and collection of martyrs’ remains.

Implementing the Prime Minister’s decisions, with high responsibility and determination, the Ha Giang provincial Steering Committee for Search, Collection, Repatriation, and Identification of Fallen Soldiers’ Remains (Steering Committee 515 in short) has ensured all policies for organizations and individuals tasked with searching and collecting martyrs’ remains.

According to Colonel Nguyen Van Tan, Political Commmissar of Search and Collection Team of the Ha Giang provincial Military Command, since its establishment, under the leadership of the unit’s Party Committee and Steering Committee 515, the team has received information and worked with relevant organizations and individuals to collect 140 sets of martyrs’ remains. On average, annually more than 20 sets of martyrs’ remains are collected.

Ensuring search and collection work

Colonel Tan noted that complicated terrain conditions in Ha Giang province hinder the martyrs’ remains’ search and collection work. In addition, after the resistance war, the management and handover of records and lists of martyrs were not complete, while witnesses who know information about the martyrs’ remains have become old and weak, among others.

Besides, the implementation of policies for organizations and individuals tasked with martyrs’ search and collection has changed for years, affecting their lives.

Officers and staff of the Ha Giang provincial Military Command perform missions in difficult conditions.

In June 2023, a delegation of the Department of Policies of the General Department of Political Affairs worked with Ha Giang province and checked the implementation of policy work for people involved in this fields.

Recently, the Office of the National Steering Committee 515 has made recommendations to the government and Prime Minister to issue new regulations on policies for organizations and individuals tasked with searching and collecting martyrs’ remains, encouraging them to continue accomplishing their sacred missions.

Translated by Minh Anh