Xayaboury memorial honours unknown soldiers
A new memorial honouring the men and women who devoted their energies and in some cases sacrificed their lives in the defence of their country has been built in Mai village, Thongmixay district, Xayaboury province.
This significant and meaningful memorial honours soldiers and all those who served their country by working to defend Laos' border in this area.
The organising committee and guests pose at the opening ceremony. --Photos Thongmixay
An official ceremony to open and hand over the memorial to local authorities and residents took place in Mai village on December 19.
The solemn event was attended by Deputy Minister of National Defence Major General Souvone Leuangbounmy, Xayaboury provincial Governor Mr Phongsavanh Sitthavong, government officials, soldiers, district and village authorities, and a large number of local people.
The memorial covers an area of 0.64 hectares. Its construction took almost three years, beginning on March 1, 2014, and ending on December 19, 2016.
The commemorative site was built by the Somvanchaleun Road and Bridge Construction Company at a cost of 5.854 billion kip. The company paid for the work but will be reimbursed by the government.
The site includes an ornate statue, an entranceway and staircase, the memorial wall, toilets, and electricity and water supplies.
The memorial was handed over to the province's Department of National Defence by the construction company. Colonel Khamman Vannavong represented the department in receiving the memorial from company representative Mr Somvan Khamchinbounyavong.
The Department of National Defence has assigned district and village authorities to be responsible for the maintenance of the site.
Speaking at the ceremony, provincial Governor Mr Phongsavanh said the purpose of the memorial was to show the deep gratitude felt by the Party and state, Ministry of National Defence and all Lao authorities and people to the soldiers and others who had served the nation unselfishly through revolutionary missions that had brought peace and happiness to the Lao people.
“This memorial educates and instructs current and successive generations about the fine tradition of solidarity, unity, patriotism, bravery, and the sacrifices made by Lao soldiers and others who served our country in the past and continue to do so today,” he said.
“It will be a historical and cultural monument that both local and foreign politicians, educators, and visitors can visit to learn about the history of Laos, the huge struggle on the part of the Lao people, the sacrifices they made, and the ultimate victory achieved by countless unknown soldiers and those who supported them. It will be a focal point representing the solidarity, unity, and fighting spirit of the Lao people.”
On the morning of the opening ceremony, an almsgiving took place to dedicate merit to those who had died. It was attended by a large number of government officials and people, who were delighted to share in such an important event.
Mai village is situated in the west of Thongmixay district and is close to the Thai border. It covers an area of 2,300 hectares and is home to 251 families.
Thongmixay district is in the southwest of Xayaboury province. It is a small and new district comprising 14 villages and ha s developed rapidly in recent years. It was established in 1986 and was previously part of Paklai district. The name means “land of victory” and the people here are contented and live in peace and solidarity.
There are now two Unknown Soldie r memorials in the district including the new one in Mai village. The first one was built in Yai village.
Thongmixay district borders Thailand over a distance of several kilometres, with Mai village being on the border. In 1984 there was a serious border conflict here.
Soldiers from around the country were assigned to the area to defend Laos' border and protect the local community, and fought valiantly to defend the nation and its citizens.
This memorial is a worthy way to show honour, gratitude, respect and love to all those who took part in the defence of their country and in many cases sacrificed their lives.
By Visith Teppalath
(Latest Update January 16, 2017 )