China observes Martyrs’ Day

Beijing, Sep 30 (IANS) Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior leaders attended a ceremony on Wednesday at Tian’anmen Square in Beijing to honour and remember national heroes on Martyrs’ Day.

Veterans, 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 National Day, Xinhua reported.

It was only last year that China’s top legislature set apart September 30 as Martyrs’ Day to commemorate those who laid their lives fighting for national independence and prosperity.

The foundation of the marble monument was laid way back on September 30, 1949.

The ceremony under the blue sky started with a crowd of at least 3,000 people singing the national anthem. Then they bowed their heads in silent tribute.

Martyrs, as defined by the government, are “people who sacrificed their lives for national independence and prosperity, as well as the welfare of people in modern times, or after the First Opium War (1840-1842).”

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

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