World / US and Canada

WWII memorial announced for Bay Area

By ZI LIAN in San Francisco (China Daily USA) Updated: 2014-07-08 10:48
WWII memorial announced for Bay Area

Yuan Nansheng (second from left), consul general of China in San Fraincisco; Florence Fang (center), curator of the WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall; Jose Esteves (second from right), mayor of Milpitas, and Ding Yuan (right), executive vice-president of the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia, put hands together on the donation box to announce the launch of the establishment of the WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall at the building of Florence Fang Family Foundation in San Mateo, California. Lian Zi / China Daily

The WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall, launched on Monday, was expected to open next September in the Bay Area of San Francisco, said Florence Fang, chairwoman of the Florence Fang Family Foundation, on Monday in San Mateo.

It will become the first overseas anti-Japanese memorial.

Florence Fang made the announcement at a press conference hosted by the Consulate General of China in the building of Florence Fang Family Foundation in San Mateo, California. Fang, also known as Fang Li Bangqin, will be the curator of the WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall. Fang is the first Chinese individual in US history to own a mainstream English-language newspaper and an active community leader in the Bay Area.

On July 7, 1937 — 77 years ago Monday — the Japanese army conducted unannounced night maneuvers at the Chinese defended Marco Polo Bridge outside of the walled city of Wanping southwest of Beijing, triggering a firefight that led to the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).

Fang said the museum will house exhibits of historic photographs and oral records that depict Japan's atrocities during the war. "Building the memorial hall is a way to protect history and educate the next generations with valuable historical records," she said.

"The Chinese people were not fighting alone against the Japanese invaders," Fang said. "We had our American friends standing side-by-side with our forces to fight together against the Japanese."

She named the memorial the WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall to remind people of the history of the China-US alliance against Japan during WWII and pass it on to future generations, she said.

Yuan Nansheng, consul general of China in San Francisco, congratulated the launch of the memorial. "Peace, development and cooperation are the three most important goals in today's international relations," he said.

"Although it is a historical site, we want to design and build it in a modern style by using contemporary construction materials, like polished steel and glass," said Li Tao, one of the four Chinese designers who take part in the memorial project. "The memorial hall will not only be a historical site, it will also be a place for young people to learn about history."


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