Monument to the People's Heroes

The Monument to the People's Heroes, constructed from August 1952 to May 1958, was the first largescale memorial built in New China.

Towering 10 stories high, its northern fagade is dominated by the inscription, "Eternal Glory to the People's Heroes," in Mao Zedong's hand.

The 17,000 pieces of marble and granite, brought in from Shandong Province and Fangshan on the outskirts of Beijing, weigh over 10,000 metric tons. Of such high quality the monument is projected to last 800 to 1,000 years.

The lower plinth is decorated with 10 twometerhigh marble basreliefs depicting the Chinese revolutionary movement over the past hundred years.

"Burning the Opium," the incident on June 3, 1839 in which chests of opium were destroyed by an angry crowed at Humen, begins on the eastern face.

Next comes the 1851 Jintian Uprising, a crucial event in the Taiping Revolution, A swarm of Han and Zhuang warriors wield their makeshift weapons under a flagfilled sky.

On the south there is the Wuchang Uprising, a key event leading up to the Revolution of 1911, in which rebellious soldiers and civilians storm the mansion of the local Imperial Viceroy, inflicting a deadly blow to the last feudal dynasty in Chinese history.

The May 4th Movement (1919) is the theme of the next panel. A young man is shown demanding "national sovereignty as a defense against the foreign powers and punishment for all traitors" before a crowd at Tian'anmen.

Next is depicted the May 30th Movement (1925), where tens of thousands of workers, students and urban residents fought their way through sandbags and barbed wire to the British Concession in Shanghai.

On the west side is the Nanchang Uprising against the Kuomintang on August 1, 1927. The panel shows a company commander making the signal to attack. "Guerrilla War Against the Japanese Invasion"(1937-1945) is depicted beside: Guerrillas thread their way through forests and fields; peasant supporters stand ready with spades; an old woman gives her son a gun; a group of young men await their officer's orders.

"Crossing the River" on the north side is the largest of the 10 panels. Crossing the Yangtze River, the People's Liberation Army rush toward Nanjing, the stronghold of the Kuomintang and in the background, battleships plow through the waves.

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