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Civilians, officials from China, Russia attend National Memorial Day commemoration in Beijing

Beijing residents, as well as Chinese and Russian representatives gathered on Sunday morning at the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression to remember those who lost their lives in the Nanjing Massacre.

During the memorial ceremony, over 200 representatives from both China and Russia stood in silence to pay tribute to the over 300,000 victims of the massacre, which took place in 1937.

They also laid flowers below giant statues of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II.

Many Beijing residents braved the cold, and some brought their children along to pass this memory to the next generation.

Civilians, officials from China, Russia attend National Memorial Day commemoration in Beijing

Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov (L) presents a commemorative medal issued by Russian President to Luo Cunkang, director of the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, Beijing, December 13, 2020. /Courtesy of the museum

Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov (L) presents a commemorative medal issued by Russian President to Luo Cunkang, director of the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, Beijing, December 13, 2020. /Courtesy of the museum

“I wish my child can learn more about our country’s history by visiting museums and exhibitions. I want to let my child know that hatred is not the right way to commemorate history. Instead, we should work hard to make our country stronger,” said Beijing resident Liu Yinyu.

Students from the Russian Embassy School in Beijing were among the attendees of Sunday’s event.

Earlier this year, Russia also celebrated the 75th anniversary of the former Soviet Union’s victory against Nazi Germany in World War II.

“The WWII is a very important moment in our history, so I think it’s a wonderful chance for us to spend time and learn more about its effect on all countries,” said Yaroslav Konovalov, a ninth grade student from the Russian Embassy School in Beijing.

Civilians, officials from China, Russia attend National Memorial Day commemoration in Beijing

Representatives from China and Russia stand in silence as they pay tribute to the victims of the Nanjing Massacre. /Courtesy of the museum

Representatives from China and Russia stand in silence as they pay tribute to the victims of the Nanjing Massacre. /Courtesy of the museum

“Someone once said ‘If we forget history, then history will repeat itself.’ I don’t want to see these horrible wars happen again, so I think everyone should remember them,” said Dmitry Pryzhkov, an eighth grader from the same school.

Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov was also in attendance at the event and presented a commemorative medal issued by Russian President to the museum, a first for such an institution.

The ambassador emphasized the importance of history education for youth. “We should help young people get acquainted with historic events, with what has really happened, not just some kind of reflection of the events, but to seek truth from facts. And facts are here in the photos.”

The museum announced the opening of a special photography exhibition featuring 107 pictures taken by Soviet female photojournalists from 1941 to 1945.

(Cover: Representatives from China and Russia attend a memorial ceremony to commemorate victims of the Nanjing Massacre at the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, Beijing, December 13, 2020. /Courtesy of the museum)

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