National Day celebrated across China with excitement

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Chinese people celebrated the 60th birthday of New China in various ways.


Sitting at home watching the military parade on TV, the 92-year-old veteran soldier was attentive although he was too old to hear clearly the sound.

"Sixty years have passed...It was really not easy," said Xu Xinzhi with his voice trembled in excitement. He was a retired vice chairman of the Artillery Commander Institute of the People's Liberation Army.

In July 1949, Xu was told to organize a gun salute squad for the founding ceremony in October.

"I was nervous," he recalled. "As soldiers, we could open fire to the enemies, but no one had ever fired gun salute."

On the early morning of October 1 1949, Xu's team arrived at the Tian'anmen Square. "Fifth-four cannons parked in a line, facing south, with the muzzles forming a 35-degree angle with the horizon," he said. The cannons were newly painted in green.

According to schedule, they should fire 28 times. The number 54 and 28 carried their meanings: the first plenary session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference had members from 54 circles and it took the Communist Party 28 years to fight for liberation.

When it came to their performance, Xu waved the red flag in his hand, and the gun salutes began. At the same time, the national anthem was played and the national flag was hoisted slowly.

"Then the flag reached the top, and we finished the last fire," he said, adding that many people then had tears trickled down their cheeks.

In the past 60 years, Xu said he saw dramatic changes of the country. "I was lucky to witness the changes and I am proud of my country." His eyes once again became wet.


People could know how the old man loved cavalry as soon as they entered his home: the paintings, calligraphy and sculpture were all about horse, and on the wall there hung a black-and-white picture, in which the cavalry was under inspection on the Tian'anmen Square.

Touching gently the picture, 78-year-old Unuchi said he took part in the military parade in 1953.

"Although 56 years had passed, it was just like yesterday," he said.

They arrived in Beijing that year in June. Unlike the soldiers now who lived in the parade village during the drill, Unuchi and his fellows lived in villagers' homes.

But the drill was equally harsh. "It was hard to train the horses than the people," he said.

To have the horses get accustomed to the boisterous atmosphere on the National Day, some soldiers brought gongs, drums and firecrackers. They fed the horses according to strict time schedule, so that the animals wouldn't relieve nature on the Tian'anmen Square.

Cavalry never appeared at Tian'anmen again after 1954. It was replaced by more advanced military equipment.

Unuchi was especially interested in the new weapons showed at the parade. "They were all developed in China," he was amazed, adding that in 1953, even the stables were made under the guidance of experts from the Soviet Union.

"Although I was a little bit regretful to see my beloved cavalry fading into history, but the disappearance just showed development and modernization of China's military forces."


Living on the border of China and Nepal, the 99-year-old Tibetan granny has had the habit of hoisting the national flag in her courtyard for 44 years.

Cering Qoezhoen always wore a hat, in order to cover the scars on her forehead.

A serf before the democratic reform in Tibet, the lady was ordered to transport materials for the master. She had to hang the food and other daily necessities on her head while fumbling in the mountain.

"The road in the mountain was so narrow," she said, extending her arms to make gestures.

In 1961, soldiers came to the Zhangmugou village where she lived. Cering not only gained freedom, but saw a new road built in her hometown.

On the National Day of 1965, the road opened to traffic. The delighted Cering together with other villagers hoisted national flags in their courtyards. Since then, she has kept the habit.

Cering couldn't remember how many red flags she had hoisted: some of them were embroidered by herself, while some were given by the local government.

The red flag she hoisted on Thursday was given by the flag guards in Beijing. Seeing the flag that once fluttered on Tian'anmen Square was now raised in front of her home, she took out her ghee butter, stuck it on the pole--a move by Tibetans as good wishes.


From the northeastern polar village to the southern islands, from the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to the eastern coastal business hubs, China is in jubilance.

In Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang Province, the rain didn't seem to dampen people's enthusiasm on the Central Avenue. Owners of taxis and cars put small national flags on their vehicles.

A taxi driver surnamed Guo had many red flags in his taxi. Each of his passengers could take one away. "As a Chinese, I want to help create the festive atmosphere on my country's birthday," he said. "There is no word to describe my feeling now, only the national flag."

Soldiers on the Xisha Islands gathered early Thursday morning waiting to see the sun coming out. Bathed in the first ray, they shouted: "Long live my mother country! Happy birthday!"

Many fishermen came to watch the televised military parade with the soldiers.

"Although I was not in the squad, I carry the gun as well and I can feel the pride as a soldier," said soldier Fu Qiguo. "We shoulder the same responsibility--to protect our country," he said.

Fisherman Feng Ningfang said, "we are not afraid of the pirates on the sea, because behind us is a strong mother country."

In Taiyuan, Shanxi's capital, wedding arches were erected in front of many residential buildings. Restaurants have been booked out in August for wedding parties during the National holiday.

Townsfolk of Shaoshan, hometown of Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China (PRC), have decided on a special way to mark the 60th founding anniversary of the PRC: presenting 60 gifts to 60 persons (or their relatives) considered to have made important contributions to China's development in different periods of time, including Yuan Longping, a rice growing technology researcher, and Wang Jinxi, a model oil driller.

Each gift contains half a kilogram rice grown on the farmland allotted to the ancestors of Mao, a portrait of Mao and a documentary on Shaoshan, according to Shaoshan Mayor Xie Zhenhua..

On the internet, netizens poured their wishes for their country.

A netizen nicknamed Yunwu said on the website of China Central Television (CCTV): "our country has gone through many hardship and bitterness before presenting its new image in front of us--strong and peaceful. I wish my country forever prosperous!"

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