China marks Martyrs’ Day at Tiananmen Square

World Today

Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior leaders attended a ceremony Wednesday at Tiananmen Square to honor and remember the country’s deceased national heroes on Martyrs’ Day.

China’s senior leaders paid silent tribute, offering flower baskets at the Monument to the People’s Heroes and showing respect to those who sacrificed their lives fighting for China’s independence and liberation.

China’s top legislature designated September 30 as Martyrs’ Day last year to raise public awareness of the nation’s heroes and cultivate a sense of national unity.

Veterans, family members of martyrs, and representatives from all walks of life also gathered at the Square to mark the day.

The Chinese government defines martyrs as those who lost their lives for national independence and prosperity, as well as for the welfare of the people in modern times from the First Opium War in 1840 to the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

It’s estimated that China has about 20 million martyrs. Currently only 1.93 million, less than 10 percent, have been named in the government’s records, while the rest remain unidentified.

Story by CCTV NEWS.