The martyrs, members of a rescue team proceeding to verify reports of people buried by a landslide near the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant in the central province, were themselves killed by a landslide.
The memorial service was held at the funeral home of 268 Military Hospital from 7-11 a.m. The military set up an altar outside for people to light incense and express their gratitude, grief and prayers for the fallen.
The martyrs’ coffins were draped in the national flag. After the memorial ceremony, the bodies were transported to their respective home towns. The funeral for each martyr will be carried out by their localities, officials said.
On behalf of the government, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent his deepest condolences to the families and relatives of officers and soldiers.
Lieutenant General Phan Van Giang, Chief of the General Staff, Deputy Minister of National Defence, wrote in the funeral book: "The Central Military Commission of the Ministry of National Defence and the whole army deeply mourn 13 comrades who sacrificed their lives while on the task of flood prevention and rescue at the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant on October 13, 2020."
"The courageous spirit and brave sacrifices of the comrades have left a good example for the army's soldiers and the people to follow," he wrote.
Hoang Anh De, 90, father-in-law of martyr Tran Minh Hai, deputy chief of the ThuaThien-Hue Military Command, spoke at the ceremony on behalf of the 13 martyrs' relatives: "We are war veterans, our children are martyrs and our great-grandchildren will spend their lives working for the cause of the people and the country."
De also expressed his gratitude for the wives of three martyrs being given jobs in the army.
The memorial service was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung and Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Van Son.
The bodies of all 13 rescue team members buried by a landslide in Phong Dien District were retrieved on Thursday from ranger station 67 in Phong Xuan Commune.
Among the martyrs was Major General Nguyen Van Man, Deputy Commander of Military Region 4 of Vietnam People's Army that oversees the north-central region. Man, Commander of the Military Command in Quang Binh Province, was promoted to Major General rank in May 2019.
Colonel Nguyen Huu Hung, another of the 13 martyrs, was posthumously promoted to Major General rank on Saturday by State President Nguyen Phu Trong. He was deputy head of the Search and Rescue Department at the Ministry of National Defence.
The 11 others were senior staff of the Ministry of National Defence's search and rescue department, Military Region 4 and Thua Thien-Hue Military Command; chairman of Phong Dien District; and head of the information and communication department of Thua Thien-Hue Portals.
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