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China holds national commemoration for Nanjing Massacre victims

China holds national commemoration for Nanjing Massacre victims

Baku, December 13, AZERTAC

The people of Nanjing observed a minute of silence, and sirens were heard across the city, as China proceeded with its ninth national memorial ceremony Tuesday to mourn the 300,000 victims of the Nanjing Massacre, according to Xinhua.

Despite the winter chill, thousands of people attended the ceremony in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province, with white flowers pinned to their chests conveying condolences. In front of the crowd, China's national flag flew at half-mast.

At 10:01 a.m., sirens began to blare and the city came to a halt. Drivers in the downtown area stopped their cars and sounded their horns, while pedestrians paused for a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims.

Teenagers read out a declaration calling for peace and citizen representatives struck the Bell of Peace. White doves, symbolizing hope for peace, were released to fly over the square of the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders.

The Nanjing Massacre took place when Japanese troops captured the city on Dec. 13, 1937. Over six weeks, they killed more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers in one of the most barbaric episodes of World War II.

In 2014, China's top legislature designated Dec. 13 as the national memorial day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre.

Seven survivors of the massacre passed away this year, reducing the total number of registered survivors to 54. The remaining survivors have an average age of more than 92.

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