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Massacre victims remembered at Nanjing vigil

Xinhua)  08:52, December 13, 2012

Local citizens in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, and representatives from other countries and regions attended the activity on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, Dec. 12, 2012. (Photo/Xinhua)

NANJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of mourners lit candles at a vigil held in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing on Wednesday night for the people killed after the city fell to Japanese invaders in World War II.

Thursday marks the 75th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre. On Dec. 13, 1937, Japanese invaders seized the city and started a month-long atrocity that left more than 300,000 local civilians and demobilized servicemen dead.

In Wednesday night's frigid cold, crimson-robed monks chanted mantras and led prayers as mourners gathered at the Nanjing memorial hall dedicated to the massacre's victims. Altogether 3,000 candles were lit. At the center, candles were arranged into the numbers of the date -- "12 13 1937."

Candles held at chest high, heads down and eyes closed, mourners stood solemnly in an outdoor area surrounded by stone steles to commemorate the victims.

Anniversary vigils have been held at the memorial hall every year since 2009.

Zhu Chengshan, curator of the Memorial Hall of the Victims for the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, said people from around the world came to the vigil today to mourn the dead and pray for lasting peace in the world.

He said mourners included Americans, Canadians, Indians, Nepalese, and also Japanese, among others. Japanese monks even joined their Chinese counterparts to lead the prayers.

"May the fallen rest in peace and such an atrocity never ever happen again," said Chen Xiaoling, a student among 500 Hong Kong teachers and students who came for the vigil.

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