Although China's sore memories of the war against the Japanese aggression could never be easily erased, it is now the right time for the lacerated Chinese to bathe devotedly in the glory of winning the fierce war and use wartime legacy to inspire future development.
Exactly 68 years ago, Japanese soldiers attacked Chinese forces near the Lugouqiao (Marco Polo Bridge) southwest of Beijing, marking an official start of an eight-year war between the two sides.
From 1931 to 1945, 35 million Chinese citizens died or were injured in defiance of the Japanese assault, accounting for eight percent of the national population at the time.
Given the unheard-of atrocities conducted by the invading Japanese troops, it is unavoidable that Japan's unrepentant post-war attitude toward the wartime history repeatedly prodded nerves of the Chinese people and brought the Sino-Japanese relations into the current stalemate.
The pride that should originate from China's victory in the marathon anti-aggression war has long been overshadowed by the lingering pains of the warfare happening over six decades ago.
The mentioning of the war in China usually readily relates to the pains suffered and losses incurred during the war period. Often left unmentioned is the fact that it is the first and only war against foreign invasion ended in favor of China since 1840.
In recent years, Chinese experts on the war history started to call for "victory education" to the nation and urged Chinese citizens to use their anti-aggression legacy as a national inspirational source.
Wang Xinhua, curator of the Beijing-based Memorial of Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, said commemorative activities should not only focus on the tragic wartime events such as the Nanjing Massacre, which claimed lives of 300,000 million Chinese people, but also fully glorify the hard-won victory of the entire Chinese nation in fighting against the fate of being conquered and subjugated by the Japanese.
During World War II, 1.38 million Japanese soldiers were killed or injured in China, accounting for 70 percent of Japan's total casualties worldwide. The brave and tenacious endeavors made by the Chinese army and civilians undoubtedly guaranteed the success of the worldwide fight against the fascist forces.
Actually, the same qualities of bravery and tenacity demonstrated in the fight against Japanese aggression also greatly helped China make the astonishing social and economic achievements during the past twenty-some years.
In fact, duly crediting China's victory in the war against the Japanese aggression will rally the national togetherness, boost self-esteem, confidence and sense of pride, and encourage the Chinese people to strive for the country's rejuvenation.
Incorporating the brave and unyielding anti-aggression legacy in future development of China is probably a more meaningful way to commemorate the spirit of the Chinese war heroes than simply mourning for the dead and crying over the losses.
(Xinhua News Agency July 8, 2005)