A call for peace rings out at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial—National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims

Lingsi Yang
3 min readApr 14, 2021
China Marks 80th Anniversary Of Nanjing Massacre With Somber Memorial, Healing Words | YouTube

At exactly 10:01 a.m., sirens began to blare and drivers across the city stopped their cars and sounded their horns. Pedestrians paused for a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims. Here in Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu Province, the people of Nanjing observed a minute of silence and sirens were heard across the city as China held a memorial ceremony to mourn the 300,000 victims of the Nanjing Massacre on Dec. 13, 2020. Thousands of people clad in dark attire attended the massacre’s seventh national memorial ceremony with white flowers pinned to their chests to convey their condolences.

On December 13, 1937, the Japanese troops captured Nanjing–then the capital city of the Republic of China. The Japanese army brutally killed about 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers during the six-week massacre. They committed numerous atrocities, including rape, arson, looting, mass executions, and torture. Corpses littered the streets and were seen afloat in rivers for weeks, and many structures in the city were burned down. Approximately twenty thousand cases of rape occurred within the city during the first month of the occupation, according to the “Judgement of the International Military Tribunal”. Even children, the elderly, and nuns are reported to have suffered at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army. Those making it one of the most barbaric episodes of World War II.

Japanese Army Buried Chinese Civilians Alive. | China Discovery
Japanese Army Executed Unarmed Chinese Soldiers. | China Discovery

In 2014, China’s top legislature designated Dec. 13 as the national memorial day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre. The National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims is a national memorial day set up by the Chinese government to pay tribute to the more than 300,000 people who died in the Nanjing Massacre. Since 2014, the ceremony is held on December 13 every year at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders which is a museum to memorialize those that were killed in the Nanjing Massacre by the Imperial Japanese Army in and around the then capital of China, Nanjing, after it fell on December 13, 1937.

The national memorial ceremony for the Nanjing Massacre victims. | Xinhua

Cultural policy is the government actions, laws, and programs that regulate, protect, encourage and financially (or otherwise) support activities, this involves governments setting in place processes, legal classifications, regulations, legislation, and institutions. The National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims was enacted in the form of legislation. This implicit cultural policy has elevated the commemoration of the victims of the Nanjing Massacre to a national level and shaped the cultural attitudes over war and history. The Chinese government held the memorial ceremony for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre to call on people to yearn for and stick to peace, rather than perpetuate hatred.

Through the establishment of memorials for the victims and National Memorial Day, the Chinese government exhorts its citizens to remember and respect this bloody history. It demonstrates the position of the Chinese people to oppose aggressive wars, defend human dignity, and safeguard world peace. To unite with the people of all countries and build a world of lasting peace and common prosperity is what the Chinese government firmly advocates for world peace.

The memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. | Google

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