Martyrs’ Day observed in Tian’anmen
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.
A ceremony in Beijing
on Wednesday marks Martyrs’ Day.