WWII remembered before Norman Bethune Memorial
Remembering the Canadian veterans who fought side-by-side with Chinese against Japan in East Asia
An event to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War was held on Aug 16 in Gravenhurst.
“Today, we are standing here in front of the Norman Bethune Memorial to commemorate the triumph of good over evil,” said Chinese Consul General in Toronto Xue Bing at the event. “Not only to cherish the memory of the martyrs who laid down their lives, but also to jointly defend the fruits of the victory of the Second World War, to maintain the hard-won peace so as to avoid a repetition of the historical tragedy.”
Chinese troops, including the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army along with the Kuomintang army, made great contributions to the Anti-Japanese War effort starting in 1931, opened up the main oriental battlefield of the Second World War and provided strong support to the Allies’ strategic actions in both Europe and the Pacific.
According to Xue, the Chinese people also got valuable help from many countries including Canada, and many Canadians fought sideby-side with the Chinese during the war. Doctor Norman Bethune was an outstanding representative among them, Xue said.
Another Canadian doctor Tillson Harrison also made valiant efforts to help the Chinese people during the war, and sacrificed his own life for the liberation of China.
The Chinese people will also never forget the brave Canadian pilots who flew over “The Hump” of the Himalayas, transporting strategic materials from India to China, and the 1,975 Canadian soldiers, who fought against the Japanese military forces for the defense of Hong Kong during WWII.
This year also marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Canada, with exchanges and cooperation in all fields from both sides still growing steadily.
“Our bilateral cultural and people-to-people exchanges and contacts have been developing fast,” Xue said. “I am so proud of what we have achieved in the past four decades. I believe that the event we are holding today will further deepen the mutual understanding between our two peoples, help us to remember history and open up a bright future.”
Bethune family member Stephen Lindley, Ontario’s minister of citizenship, immigration and international trade Michael Chan, Muskoka district councilor Steven Clement, Gravenhurst councilor Randy Jorgenson and representatives from Chinese Community also attended the commemoration.
Chinese Consul General in Toronto Xue Bing (right) is joined by curator of the Bethune Memorial House Scott Davidson (centre) and Muskoka district councillor Steven Clement (left) during a visit to the Norman Bethune Memorial on Aug 16 in Gravenhurst.