Various activities were held on Thursday to commemorate the "July 7 incident" of 1937, also known as the "Lugouqiao Incident," which sparked Japan's all-out invasion of China.
An opening ceremony was staged in the morning at the Memorial Hall of the Chinese People's Anti-Japanese War, located at Lugouqiao (also known as Marco Polo Bridge) in Beijing, for an exhibition on the war and the people of the world's victory over fascism.
With the theme of "keeping history in mind and loving peace while ushering in the future," the show was divided into eight parts featuring over 800 cultural relics, 600 photos and 40 charts. Of the historical documents, 141 were available to the public for the first time.
The memorial hall had been closed for more than three months in order to prepare for the exhibition, and a team of artists were invited to create oil paintings and sculptures.
"After I viewed the exhibition, I feel that we Chinese should never forget the nation's humiliation during World War II," wrote Li Siyang, a student from Beijing Jiaomen Primary School in the visitors' book.
Until September 3, the exhibition will accommodate visitors in groups mainly free of charge.
The same day, local residents and visitors burnt incense and prayed for war victims at the site of a mass grave at Jiangdongmen in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, where 28,730 corpses were buried at the beginning of 1938.
The grave was from the Nanjing Massacre of December 1937 when Japanese troops occupied the then capital, killing over 300,000 civilians, burning a third of the houses and raping over 20,000 women.
A website, www.neverforget.com.cn, was also launched yesterday with the slogan "Never forget and pray for peace" and providing records, photos and video and audio materials. Surfers can present virtual floral tributes for the war victims via the site.
The bell of Nankai University in Tianjin, north China, was chimed on Thursday morning for two sets of seven strokes to mark the date of July 7. The 3,000-kg bell is 1.937 meters high, a reference to the year 1937, when Japanese troops bombarded the university.
A museum of the cross-border war against the Japanese also opened in Yunnan Province and Myanmar, where Chinese troops fought alongside British and American forces. It is believed to be China's first private anti-Japanese war museum.
(Xinhua News Agency July 8, 2005)