Victory Over Japan Day: Massacre survivors join peace advocates to commemorate anniversary
December 13, 1937 will always be synonymous with the Nanjing Massacre, when Japanese Imperial Army soldiers besieged the eastern Chinese city. Thursday however commemorates an equally significant date: Victory Over Japan, or VJ Day in China. 74 years ago Thursday, the Japanese surrendered in World War II, bringing an end to one of the bloodiest chapters in history. CGTN's Zhou Jiaxin takes us to Nanjing, where people of all ages paid tribute.
"I never went to school."
Cen Honggui survived the Nanjing Massacre launched by the Japanese Imperial Army on Eastern China 82 years ago. He was 13 years old at the time. The wall of the city was battered down, and invaders slaughtered about 300,000 Chinese during a six-week rampage.
ZHANG JIANJUN, CURATOR NANJING MASSACRE MEMORIAL HALL "There are still 82 documented survivors from the Nanjing Massacre. At Qingming festival and other important anniversaries, they will come to visit the memorial hall where they always consider it a home, a harbor."
Apart from longtime visitors like Cen, foreign visitors and international students gathered here as well.
Those with the Northeast Asia Regional Peace-building Institute presented flowers and paid tribute to the victims in silence Thursday, the anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II in 1945.
They also wrote the words "I love peace" in several languages on a post.
ZHANG JIANJUN NANJING MASSACRE MEMORIAL HALL "The hall is a place for memories, which preserve the massacre during Japan's invasion into China as a part of the world's history. These activities are aimed at asking the public to remember this history and cherish peace. Meanwhile, the hall is an ark for peace, which demonstrates Chinese people's goodwill of peace and development."
CEN HONGGUI SURVIVOR OF THE NANJING MASSACRE "Those who are bellicose will fall down and perish. China is still a peace-loving country. We had a hard lesson and shall not forget it. Our future generation is ought to remember it."
America's longest-serving first lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said: "It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it." That is precisely what we see peace advocates gathering here to show the world: how precious peace is in times when warmongers and terrorists frequently get ahead. Zhou Jiaxin, CGTN, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.