Photo: US tank at Khe Sanh.

Truong Son National Cemetery

This cemetery is comprised of about 10,300 graves containing the remains of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians who died in defence of the Ho Chi Min Trail.

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

It's built on a the site of the former headquarters of the 559 Army Corps, which is named after the date it was established and the trail was opened, on May 9, 1959 -- which also happens to be Ho Chi Minh's birthday. They were charged with opening, maintaining and protecting the Ho Chi Minh Trail. During the conflict, the North Vietnamese didn’t have the resources to retrieve and transport bodies back to their home village, as they did in the south, so the Northern dead were often buried where they died, if they were buried at all. In the Vietnamese tradition, the soul of a body not buried properly will not be at rest, so after the war, as many of the remains as possible were retrieved and interred here -- but only a fraction of the estimated hundreds of thousand who died were finally interred. The cemetery is divided into five major zones, each representing a region in Vietnam. The graves are laid out in concentric circles by province and hamlet -- Vietnamese come to offer prayers for the dead, and even if they can’t find the grave of the friend or relative they are looking for, they can at least offer their prayers among their neighbours. Worth visiting, if only to pay your respects. Truong Son is located on Route 15, about 5 km further north of Con Thien, down a wide, 50m path on the right. There is a big sign and it can be seen from the road.

Last updated on 30th January, 2008.

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