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China celebrates 66th anniversary of victory in the war against Japanese aggression

(Xinhua)

10:49, September 04, 2011

HARBIN, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Gently touching a sculpture in a memorial garden in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, a veteran soldier suddenly became emotional.

"It reminded me of the flames of war, and my fellows who died and were buried here," said the old man, who refused to give his name.

Saturday marks the 66th anniversary of the victory against Japanese aggression.

A memorial garden in the city of Hulin was built in 2009 to honor the people who died during World War II, according to Yue Qingping, an official from the publicity department of the government of Hulin.

The project was completed this past August. Although the memorial garden is not officially open, it has already received visitors.

"Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, 1945. But due to a communication failure, Japanese soldiers in Hulin didn't know about the change and stubbornly resisted," said Li Shoujun, curator of the Hutou Fortress Museum. The fort was taken from the Japanese by Chinese and Soviet soldiers on Aug. 26, 1945.

In Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang, residents honored the memory of China's fallen soldiers with songs and flower displays.

Zhao Zhanli, the niece of famed Chinese soldier Zhao Shangzhi, laid a bunch of yellow chrysanthemums in front of a statue of her uncle.

"Let us never forget the blood that was shed by nameless heroes. We should cherish our lives today," she said.

In Nanjing, the capital city of east China's Jiangsu Province, more than 100 students, veterans and survivors of the Nanjing Massacre gathered at the Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre. They rang a large bell 66 times to commemorate the anniversary of China's victory against the Japanese.

Japan invaded northeast China in September 1931, but historians generally agree that Japan's full-scale invasion started on July 7, 1937, when a crucial access point to Beijing, the Lugou Bridge, was assaulted by Japanese troops.

The Japanese occupied Nanjing on Dec. 13, 1937 and began a six-week massacre. Records show that more than 300,000 people, soldiers and civilians alike, were killed in the massacre.

"Only by keeping history in our memories can we avoid repeating past tragedies," said Zhu Chengshan, curator of the memorial hall.

To keep those memories, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality for the first time released official data about victims and losses of the city during the war.

The data, released by Anti-Japanese Aggression Study Team of the municipality on Friday, showed that more than 30,000 residents in Chongqing were killed or injured from February 1938 to December 1944, when Japanese made air bombardment on the city. Property losses reached 10 billion Fabi, the currency circulated in China while under the governance of Kuomintang.

In Beijing, nearly 4,000 people on Saturday visited the Chinese War of Resistance Against Japan Memorial Hall, located near Lugou Bridge.

"We need to remember the history, and cherish the hard-won peace right now," said Li Donglang, a professor with the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

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""Only by keeping history in our memories can we avoid repeating past tragedies," said Zhu Chengshan, curator of the memorial hall."It is not just a question of remembering hisotry but what do you intent to do about it? And the answer is that you need a very strong armed forces or military, and a very capable foreign affairs teams to handle international relations. Not to mention a good able and honest government.
  

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