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War victims, martyrs mourned on tomb-sweeping day

On the traditional Tomb-sweeping Day, which falls on Saturday this year, people across China gathered to mourn war victims and heroic martyrs.

By 8 a.m. a long queue had formed outside the Memorial Hall for Compatriots killed in the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Forces of Aggression, which commemorates the 300,000 lives killed by the Japanese invaders 77 years ago.

Among them were massacre survivors, relatives of the deceased, local school children, college students and foreigners.

Nanjing massacre survivor Lu Hongcai, 82, looked for his family members' names on the wailing wall, a monument engraved with 10,418 names of victims.

His six relatives, including his mother and sister, were killed by Japanese soldiers. "The wailing wall was the only place we could mourn our relatives since most of them did not have tombs or even dead bodies," he said, "may they rest in peace."

On Dec. 13, 1937, the invading Japanese army occupied Nanjing and launched a six-week massacre. Chinese records show more than 300,000people, disarmed soldiers as well as civilians, were murdered.

"We hope people, especially the young generation, will keep in mind history and prevent such atrocities from happening again," said Zhu Chengshan, curator of the memorial hall.

Other Chinese cities also launched memorial activities on Tomb-sweeping Day.

In a village of Yiwu City in east China's Zhejiang Province, a ceremony commemorating victims of Japan's germ warfare 72 years ago was held on Saturday.

It was attended by hundreds of survivors and descendants of victims in Chongshan Village, where the Japanese army used biological bombs, killing 405 people.

Tomb-sweeping Day, or Qingming festival, is the most important period for Chinese to remember the deceased.

Authorities estimated that a total of 7.78 million Chinese swept tombs on Saturday, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a statement.

Chinese railway authorities also forecast that up to 9 million trips will be made on trains on Saturday. The number will be a record high compared with 8.31 million trips last year. Railway authorities said they have scheduled 328 extra trains.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 05Apr14]

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