Peo­ple stop and bow heads as they honor 300,000 vic­tims of mas­sacre

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By CANG WEI cang­wei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Traf­fic lights stopped flash­ing, ve­hi­cles stopped run­ning and peo­ple stood still on streets, bow­ing their heads, on Tues­day morn­ing to re­mem­ber the 300,000 vic­tims of the Nan­jing Mas­sacre, as air raid sirens sounded across the coun­try’s for­mer cap­i­tal.

At the Me­mo­rial Hall of the Nan­jing Mas­sacre, sur­vivors of the mas­sacre, veter­ans and peo­ple from many coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States, France and Ja­pan, paid tribute in the cold rain to the vic­tims.

Zhao Leji, head of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee’s Or­ga­ni­za­tion De­part­ment, said at the me­mo­rial hall that the Chi­nese peo­ple will al­ways re­mem­ber the vic­tims.

“Peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­enced wars and had their homes rav­aged by enemies know bet­ter the value of jus­tice and how pre­cious peace is,” said Zhao. “We hold the Na­tional Me­mo­rial Day cer­e­mony not to pass on ha­tred, but to awaken the long­ing for and ad­her­ence to peace.”

Xia Shuqin, an 87-year-old wit­ness to the mas­sacre, said: “A lot of the sur­vivors have passed away. They won’t rest in peace if the truth is still de­nied.”

Some res­i­dents at­tended me­mo­rial cer­e­monies at mass grave sites. Others folded pa­per cranes to pay tribute to the dead, and some set free white pi­geons in down­town Nan­jing.

Ac­cord­ing to the mas­sacre me­mo­rial hall, only 107 sur­vivors are still alive. The youngest are in their 80s.

YANG BO / FOR CHINA DAILY

Xia Shuqin, a survivor of the Nan­jing Mas­sacre, at­tends the cer­e­mony at the me­mo­rial hall to honor vic­tims of the atroc­ity in Nan­jing, Jiangsu prov­ince, on Tues­day.

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