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Nanjing Massacre victims to be commemorated

By Cang Wei in Nanjing | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-06 09:46
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Visitors stand in silent tribute at the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, Sept 18, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

A series of activities will be held in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, to honor the victims of the Nanjing Massacre ahead of the national memorial day for them, which is scheduled for next Wednesday.

At 10 am on that day, the national memorial ceremony for the massacre victims will be held at the Memorial Hall for the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders.

Seventeen burial sites of the victims, 12 communities and six patriotic education bases in Nanjing will hold mourning activities on the same day, while national commemorative museums related to the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45) will also organize mourning activities.

Overseas mourning activities will be held in more than 50 countries and regions, according to the Jiangsu provincial publicity department.

Other mourning activities include a candlelight memorial ceremony to cherish world peace and the publication of books related to the history and impact of the massacre. A dance drama, a musical drama and a national symphony calling for peace will also be staged before and after the National Memorial Day.

This year marks the 86th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre. On Dec 13, 1937, Japanese invaders captured Nanjing, then the capital of China, and killed more than 300,000 civilians and unarmed soldiers over six weeks.

In 2014, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, designated Dec 13 as the national memorial day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre.

Zhou Feng, curator of the memorial hall, said that the history and people's suffering should never be forgotten.

"Nanjing will never forget the tragic history that took place 86 years ago so as to call for peace," Zhou said.

In front of the "wailing wall" of the memorial hall, a family memorial event for the victims was held on Sunday. Some survivors and their family members bowed, laid flowers and observed a moment of silence to mourn the people who lost their lives during the massacre.

Ge Fengjin, son of Ge Daorong, a survivor who died this year, said that as descendants of survivors, he feels the responsibility of passing on the history.

"Remembering the past is for envisioning the future and to help more people understand the value of peace," said Ge. "We should not take peace for granted but understand its value and make efforts to cherish it."

In the 1980s, more than 1,000 people were registered as survivors. In 2014, when the country commemorated the first national memorial day, the number had dropped to just over 100. As of December this year, the number of living survivors is 38.

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