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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Hall spreads soldier's spirit

By Wu Yong and Liu Ce (China Daily)

12:33, March 03, 2012

The spirit of Lei Feng, a heroic model who was always ready to help others, is now spreading from China to other countries.

"Both the United States and China are sharing the same value: helping others is helping oneself. I see a lot of people are living Lei Feng in the city," Sean Stein, the US consul general in Shenyang, said at the Fushun Lei Feng Memorial Hall.

Around 50,000 visitors from 28 countries have visited the Lei Feng museum in Fushun, in Northeast China's Liaoning province, said Chen Zhuo, curator of the museum.

"There is no beautiful scene here. What attracts them to come here is Lei Feng. It is Lei Feng's spirit that moves them and deeply touches their soul. I can see their desire to know Lei Feng better," Chen said.

On March 5, 1963, Chairman Mao Zedong called on the nation to learn from Lei Feng, who died in an accident in August 1962. On every March 5, activities to carry forward Lei Feng's spirit occur throughout the country.

"Lei Feng belongs not only to China, but also to the whole world," she added.

Fushun residents consider the memorial hall to be a must-visit place for tourists. The city is also called Lei Feng's second hometown because he had served in the army for a long time there. Since the hero's death in 1962, the city has been closely associated with the soldier. The street in front of the memorial hall is called Lei Feng Road and a local primary school is called "Lei Feng School".

Most international visitors can tell something about Lei Feng, according to Qin Yuxi, a guide at the hall.

"They knew he was a great soldier, but nothing more. What we do is to tell them the details of how Lei Feng helped people," she said.

Seth Bailey, US cultural consul, said he was inspired to do something nice for those who need help after visiting the museum.

"The spirit of Lei Feng is the spirit of volunteerism. I do not think his spirit will go out of style because I believe a healthy society should be based on this spirit," he said.

Many foreigners became Lei Feng's fans after visiting the hall.

Frank Stechow, from Germany, is a manager at a five-star hotel in Liaoning. He has helped organize donations in the past two years to rescue a twin baby in the province.

Leif Rogers, a US citizen living in Liaoning, presented the main part of the English-version of Lei Feng's diary he translated to the memorial hall after visiting.

Rogers first got to know the story of Lei Feng in 2005 and has since been fascinated with him. In daily life, he is always ready to offer a helping hand to anyone in need.

He has also authorized China Daily and its website to publish his translation of Lei Feng's diary for free.

Chen Zhuo said she has arranged exhibitions about Lei Feng in 68 cities around China. And she said she wishes to go abroad to tell more people about Lei Feng.

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