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Chinese honor war heroes on Tomb Sweeping Day

Updated: Apr 6,2015 10:27 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The Chinese public honored the nation’s revolutionary martyrs and war heroes to mark China’s Tomb Sweeping Day, which falls on April 5.

A website launched on April 3 by the government to commemorate revolutionary martyrs has attracted nearly 200 million visits, with thousands of comments posted to praise their contributions.

On the Twitter-like Sina Weibo, “Commemorating the martyrs” has become one of the trending topics. More than 657,000 Weibo users wrote comments and 5.6 million users sent virtual wreaths.

Memorial events were held across China as people flocked to war museums, cemeteries and revolutionary sites to pay tribute to the heroes.

Over 500 people, including veterans, soldiers and members of the public, attended a ceremony in a martyrs’ cemetery in Tengchong county in Yunnan province on April 5 to commemorate soldiers who died fighting the Japanese army during World War II.

In 1944, 9,000 soldiers of the Chinese Expeditionary Force and 19 from the Allied forces died in a key battle to reclaim the strategic county from Japanese occupation.

Another martyrs’ park in the northern province of Hebei saw an influx of students, medical workers and soldiers to the tombs of Indian doctor Dwarkanath Kotnis and Canadian doctor Norman Bethune, who are known for providing medical assistance to Chinese troops during World War II.

The park held over 20 public memorial ceremonies before Tomb Sweeping Day and received 240,000 visitors, according to the park’s administration.

Remembrance of war heroes and victims has surfaced as an important theme for this year’s Tomb Sweeping Day, as 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the victory in the World Anti-Fascist War.

Last week, a heritage park opened in south China’s Guilin city to honor the US “Flying Tigers” air squadron, which helped the Chinese fight the Japanese.

Tomb Sweeping Day, or Qingming Festival, is a yearly celebration when people remember their dearly departed. It is usually marked between April 4 and 6.

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