|A scene from the play.
The play was staged at the Ben Thanh Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City as Vietnam marked the 44th anniversary of national unification on April 30. It moved the audience with stories of the volunteers’ lives during the fiercest days of the war. Excellent performances and stage sets added to the play’s success.
Nearly 3,000 bombs were dropped on what is now the Truong Bon Historical Site in My Son ward, Do Luong district, between June and October, 1968. 14 members of the Volunteer Youth Force were assigned to fill bomb craters blocking the roads and guide trucks through the danger zone. In the early morning of October 31, 1968, 13 youth volunteers were killed by a bomb while working. Author Nguyen The Ky said: "The play is a tribute to soldiers who died for national liberation. Its aim is to inspire national pride and patriotism while teaching the younger generations about their predecessors’ sacrifices."
People’s Artist Hong Luu, Deputy Director of Nghe An province’s Center for Folk Heritage Conservation and Development, said she has performed the play more than 20 times.
"I thought about the sacrifices and loss of all the volunteers and soldiers and imagined myself in their circumstances to act my best. I could understand the pain and emotions of the female volunteers and sometimes I really had to hold back my tears during my performance," said Luu.
The volunteers died just hours before the US army agreed to halt its bombing of northern Vietnam, leaving all their dreams unfulfilled. Vo Thi Thanh Tra, a young person, told VOV: "Born in peace time in southern Vietnam, I’ve never heard the name Truong Bon before. I was deeply touched watching the play and cried for our predecessors’ sacrifices."
The play teaches young Vietnamese about Vietnam’s history. It depicts optimism in grim circumstances and praises the valiant efforts of Vietnam’s wartime volunteers.