Sponsored by PLA Daily of the Chinese People's Liberation Army
|Producer & Editor:Zhao Xianfeng, Lian Junyi, Yang Liming,Ouyang Dongmei,Xuan Qi|
PLA Daily 2005-08-26
On August 20, more than 60 veteran soldiers of the Flying Tigers group and their family members from afar arrived in Kunming, Yunnan Province to worship the "Hump Route" monument despite the rain.
The "Hump Route" which began in 1942 was the main air route for China and the Allied forces during World War II, here US air force lost 468 planes and 1,579 pilots and aircrews died and missed.
On the occasion of commemorating the 60th anniversary of victory in the Chinese anti-Japanese war and the world anti-fascist war, the Chinese people cannot help remembering international friends who assisted China in the anti-Japanese war, and cherish memory of their great achievements. From the US air force volunteers who were brave and skillful in warfare to the Soviet Red Army men who dealt a crushing blow to the Japanese Kwantung Army; from Canadian doctor Norman Bethune who repeatedly transfused blood to Chinese wounded soldiers to Indian doctor D.S. Kotni who treated fracture for Zhou Enlai; from Israel Epstein who spread the voice of the Chinese in their war of resistance across the world to Eagar Snow who enjoyed world reputation with his book "Red Stars Over China" -- they came to China from afar, unhesitatingly pitched into the war of resistance, and shared weal and woe together with the Chinese people, writing a heroic and magnificent epic on the war of resistance and carrying forward the great internationalist spirit!
Their heroic deeds are being remembered in history, the Chinese people haven't forgotten their names. After Norman Bethune passed away, Mao Zedong called on the entire Chinese people to learn from him. After Kotni died of illness, Mao Zedong wrote the elegy, which reads "The whole army lost a helping hand, and the nation lost a friend" to express the deep regret of the Chinese army and people. The Monument to Nanjing anti-Japanese flight martyrs which was completed in 1995 is one of the largest forest of steles in the world. The illustrious names of 3,294 flight martyrs of the United States, the Soviet Union, China and the Republic of Korea were inscribed on the monument in three languages of Chinese, Russian and English. Various monuments stand in the place where airplanes crashed, on the "Hump Route" that strides across the roof of the world and was opened up by the US air force volunteers.
For the sake of peace, the Chinese people rose in resistance; for upholding justice, international friends drew swords and rendered help. Their indomitable fighting will and their spirit of fearing no sacrifice were deeply engraved in the memory of the Chinese nation. Norman Bethune, Kotni, Fritz Jensen, George Hatem and Claire Lee Chennault. Even today, 60 years afterwards, these very familiar names are still the synonyms of heroes, their legendary experiences remain astonishing stories, their lofty ideals characterized by their sacrifice of lives for the sake of righteousness, and their great conviction still inspire people. These international friends are witnesses who personally experienced the Chinese anti-Japanese war, are brave anti-fascist men who dared to make frontal attacks on the enemy, are good comrades-in-arms of the Chinese people and good brothers whose hearts are linked together.
84-year-old veteran soldier Richard of the Flying Tigers hasn't forgotten that in the summer of 1944 the plane he piloted was shot down by Japanese troops and after he was rescued by the Eighth Route Army soldiers, he followed them to come to Yan'an where he saw Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. In 1942, some 1,816 prisoners of war of the Allied Forces were taken into the ship "Lisbon Maru", the ship was sunk when it sailed to the sea of Zhoushan Archipelago, 384 officers and soldiers of the Allied Forces were saved by 198 fishermen. In order to support the world anti-fascist war and when the fight against Japan in the Chinese battlefield faced the most difficult situation, 100,000 Chinese officers and soldiers entered Myanmar to fight the Japanese, creating favorable conditions for the recovery of Myanmar by the Allied forces. The Chinese army and people and international friends, with common hatred, fought shoulder to shoulder against the enemy till the final victory in the world anti-fascist war.
Today, 60 years afterwards, members of the Flying Tigers, who returned to China, gazed at the place where they had once engaged in battles, exclaimed the historic change experienced by China from decline to rejuvenation, and people's ardent love for the heroic fighters and international friends. As the green mountain is always there, so friendship will stay forever. The Chinese people will always cherish the peace won at the cost of blood and lives and always value the friendship forged in the flames of war, they will, together with peace-loving people around the world, make contributions to maintaining regional stability, promoting world peace and common progress of humankind.
By People's Daily Online