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Newly unveiled San Jose monument honors South Vietnamese soldiers who defended Quang Tri Citadel

San Jose monument Quang Tri Citadel

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    A San Jose community has recently unveiled a monument that honors the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) of South Vietnamese soldiers who fought invading northern soldiers and defended the provincial capital of Quang Tri during the Vietnam War.

    In honor: The Quang Tri Victory Monument, which was unveiled on Saturday at History Park in San Jose, Calif., depicts soldiers raising a flag to commemorate their victory against the invading forces at the Quang Tri Citadel, according to event organizer Sam Ho, KPIX5 reported.

    • “It means that, at the time when the U.S was abandoning its allies in the Vietnam War, we fought back with what we had and we won against the overwhelming enemy forces,” Lan Quoc Nguyen, a Quang Tri Memorial board member, told the news network.
    • “We were able to persevere and get to where we are now, even if that meant a lot of hardship,” Kristin Hong, a Vietnamese American student who uses the victorious history as a motivation, declared. “But we were able to get here and go through so much just to have a brighter future for ourselves.”
    • Southern California’s Westminster was the first to agree to erect the monument, but the project was reportedly abandoned. San Jose later took up the plan and began building it months after the relocation.
    • The citadel, which was first built under the order of King Gia Long in 1809, was rebuilt using bricks instead of clay when King Minh Mang ruled in 1837, according to VOV World. The site now acts as a tomb for the fallen Vietnamese soldiers.

    Retaking the city: With Major General Ngo Quang Truong at the helm of the skirmish, the ARVN forces managed to retake the city of Quang Tri from the northern troops as the U.S. Army prepared to leave the country in 1972. The bloody battle, which lasted for four and a half months, claimed the lives of 977 South Vietnamese soldiers.

    • Ho said the stories in movies and the media in which Southern Vietnamese are portrayed as being uncommitted fighters are “extremely insulting,” adding that  the Quang Tri Victory Monument would serve as a way to show how the ARVN managed to repel invading forces without any assistance.

    Featured Image via KPIX CBS SF Bay Area

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