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Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 11:38

China marks Martyrs' Day at Tian'anmen Square

By Xinhua
China marks Martyrs' Day at Tian'anmen Square
A screen grab from CCTV captures a memorial ceremony to mark the Martyrs' Day at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing, on S ept 30, 2015. (Photo / CCTV News)

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior leaders attended a ceremony Wednesday at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing to honor and remember deceased national heroes on Martyrs' Day.

Veterans, family members of martyrs and representatives of all walks of life also gathered at the Monument to the People's Heroes in Tian'anmen Square to mark the country's second Martyrs' Day on the eve of National Day.

The marble monument, the foundation of which was laid on Sept 30, 1949, stood tall against a blue sky.

The ceremony started with a crowd of 3,000 people chanting the national anthem. Then they bowed their heads in silent tribute.

Following a patriotic song by school children in white shirts and red scarves, the uniform of China's Young Pioneers organization, baskets of lilies, each carried by two soldiers, were laid in front of the monument.

President Xi tidied a red ribbon tied to one of the baskets and led a group of senior officials on a walk of tribute around the monument.

School children and other participants followed them and laid their bouquet of chrysanthemums at the foot of the monument.

Martyrs, as defined by the government, are "people who sacrificed their lives for national independence and prosperity, as well as the welfare of people in modern times, or after the First Opium War (1840-1842)."

It is estimated that China's martyrs number around 20 million.

China's top legislature approved Sept 30 to be commemorated as Martyrs' Day last year to honor those who lost their lives fighting for national independence and prosperity.

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