Twenty-five alumni of the Huangpu Military School gathered at the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing on Saturday morning, commemorating the modern China forerunner's 140th birth anniversary, which falls on Sunday, or November 12.
The old men, most of whom are above 80 years old, arrived at the mausoleum at 7:00 AM. Some of them had difficulties getting about and were accompanied by their relatives to pay homage to the founder of their school.
Wu Zhongqi, chief of the school's Nanjing alumni union, said more former Huangpu graduates attended this year's commemorative activities.
"To some of them, it is the first time to attend an organized formal homage paying activity, so they felt very excited," Wu said.
The old man said Sun's three-word teachings of "peace, striving and saving China" before he passed away were engraved in every Huangpu graduate's heart till now.
Founded in 1924 by Sun, Huangpu Military School was a cradle of Chinese military talents, from which graduated a large number of prestigious generals and marshals of both the Communist Party of China and Kuomintang.
Sixty-nine-year-old Zhao Bin was also invited to the Saturday activity. His father Zhao Zhiguang was a keeper of the mausoleum for eight years and was killed by the invading Japanese soldiers in 1937 for protecting the sacred site.
"I am here in memory of my father and what is more, to commemorate Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the person to whom my father devoted his life," Zhao said.
A great number of people from other different circles, including over 500 officials of Nanjing, also attended the commemorative activities in Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum.
Also on Saturday a comprehensive historical picture album of Sun Yat-sen was officially published in Beijing. The picture album, co-authored by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's Committee of Cultural and Historical Data and the National Museum of China, depicts Sun's great life and includes experts' latest research on Sun.
(Xinhua News Agency November 12, 2006)