Tailors traveled nationwide for secret task
Tailors from a leading uniform supplier fanned across the country to complete a unique project for the Sept 3 military parade that marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (193745).
They needed to collect the measurements of hundreds of descendants of veterans of the anti-fascist war, who were to make up a special parade-day unit.
About two months ago, Xu Li was going about her regular work at Jihua 3502 Professional Garment Co when she was ordered to visit eight cities in four days to measure nine veterans’ descendants for their clothing sizes.
The descendants were to compose one of the 40 ground units that marched through Tian’anmen Square on Thursday. But they were scattered across the country and weren’t told about their role until later.
It seemed a difficult mission to obtain so many measurements in such a short time. To make it more challenging, Xu had to keep her purpose a secret. She had to persuade them to allow her to do her work and convince them she had no ulterior motive.
“They thought I was a fraud whoplanned to gain benefits,” Xu said. “Although I finally convinced them of my harmlessness, they still had serious doubts about my purpose. Some of them didn’t let me in their houses.”
In the end, she obtained some of the measurements at train stations or other places outdoors.
After breathing a sigh of relief when she obtained their consent, she found another challenge. The descendants were older than 70, and some of them could not stand up straight.
“To ensure the accuracy of measurements, I needed to take about 10 sizes from head to feet for each of the descendants,” Xu said.
Xu wasn’t the only one tasked to find the veterans’ descendants. Nearly 100 other tailors also took measurements in 17 cities around the country.
Each of the descendants was shown several types of clothes from which they could choose, said Zhang Fenglin, deputy general manager of the company, which provided more than 90 percent of the clothing for the military parade.
“Seeing them wearing the clothes we made, we felt great glory,” Zhang said.
Contact the writers through zhangyu1@chinadaily.