Mar­tyrs’ Day ob­served in Tian’an­men

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By XIN­HUA

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and other se­nior lead­ers at­tended a cer­e­mony on Wed­nes­day in Tian’an­men Square in Bei­jing to honor and re­mem­ber de­ceased na­tional he­roes on Mar­tyrs’ Day.

Vet­er­ans wear­ing medals on their chests, fam­ily mem­bers of mar­tyrs and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of all walks of life also gath­ered at the Mon­u­ment to the Peo­ple’s He­roes in Tian’an­men Square to mark the coun­try’s sec­ond Mar­tyrs’ Day on the eve of the 66th Na­tional Day.

Premier Li Ke­qiang, top leg­is­la­tor Zhang De­jiang, se­nior leader Liu Yun­shan, top dis­ci­pline in­spec­tor Wang Qis­han and Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli also at­tended the event.

The mar­ble mon­u­ment, the foun­da­tion of which was laid on Sept 30, 1949, stood tall against a blue sky. On the pedestal of the mon­u­ment are eight re­liefs de­pict­ing ma­jor episodes in Chi­nese rev­o­lu­tion­ary history since the First Opium War (1839-1842).

A mil­i­tary band played trum­pets to com­mem­o­rate mar­tyrs be­fore the cer­e­mony started.

Honor guards with guns stood in two lines in front of the mon­u­ment.

Mar­tyrs, as de­fined by the gov­ern­ment, are “peo­ple who sac­ri­ficed their lives for na­tional in­de­pen­dence and pros­per­ity, as well as for the wel­fare of peo­ple in mod­ern times, or af­ter the First Opium War.”

It is es­ti­mated that China’s mar­tyrs num­ber around 20 mil­lion.

At 10 am, a crowd of around 3,000 peo­ple sang the na­tional an­them. Then they bowed their heads in silent trib­ute to those who de­voted their lives to the lib­er­a­tion of the Chi­nese peo­ple and the de­vel­op­ment of New China, which was founded in 1949.

Fol­low­ing a pa­tri­otic song by school­child­ren in white shirts and red scarves, the uni­form of China’s Young Pioneers or­ga­ni­za­tion, 18 honor guards laid nine bas­kets of flow­ers in front of the mon­u­ment.

The bas­kets were pre­sented in the names of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, China’s top leg­is­la­ture, the State Coun­cil, the top po­lit­i­cal ad­vi­sory body, the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, demo­cratic par­ties and non-party in­di­vid­u­als, mass or­ga­ni­za­tions, vet­er­ans, se­nior cit­i­zens and the fam­i­lies of mar­tyrs, as well as mem­bers of China’s Young Pioneers.

Pres­i­dent Xi tied red rib­bons on one of the bas­kets and led a group of se­nior of­fi­cials on a walk of trib­ute around the mon­u­ment.

School­child­ren and other par­tic­i­pants fol­lowed them and laid bou­quets of chrysan­the­mums at the foot of the mon­u­ment.

FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

A cer­e­mony in Bei­jing

on Wed­nes­day marks Mar­tyrs’ Day.

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