Students and staff members of SCUT visited the Guangzhou Memorial Park of the 19th Route Army to commemorate Sino-Japanese War martyrs on April 4, the Ching Ming Festival.
Also known as Memorial Day in the traditional Chinese culture, the Ching Ming Festival is on the first day of the fifth solar term of the Chinese lunisolar calendar, meaning April 4, 5 or 6 in a given year.
The festival is an occasion for celebrants to remember and honor ancestors and passed ones at grave sites. For the students that visited the memorial park, it is an opportunity for them to learn history and honor the patriots that fought against foreign invaders for the freedom of the nation.
In January 1932, Japan launched a premeditated invasion to Shanghai. The Chinese 19th Route Army, a 30,000-man military unit stationed in Shanghai, along with other friendly forces, defended the city for 33 days against 100,000 well-trained Japanese soldiers. Even though outnumbered, Chinese army’s fierce resistance forced the Japanese to change their commander for three times, while the 19th Route Army also suffered thousands of casualties.
Since most officers and soldiers of the 19th Route Army were from Guangdong province, in 1933, a memorial site was built in Guangzhou to memorize the Shanghai Battle martyrs of this military unit. After 1981, the site was preserved and renovated by the municipal government before it was turned into a public park.
During this year’s Ching Ming memorial tour, staff members of the SCUT Committee for the Care of the Next Generation were present with students. After telling about the stories of the 19th Route Army and how the memorial site was built and later renovated, they encouraged students to remember history, and thus to cherish the independence of the nation and today’s opportunity to study in peace and wealth.
Students attended the activity included those from the School of Electric Power, the School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, and the School of Physics and Optoelectronics.
Based on materials from the School of Electric Power
Written and edited by Xu Peimu