SHENYANG, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) — Shenyang, capital of northeast China’s Liaoning Province, resounded with wailing air-raid sirens and vehicle horns on Sunday, the 91st anniversary of the September 18 Incident that marked the start of Japan’s invasion of China.
As the sirens howled in the city, pedestrians stood in silent tribute, and vehicles honked. Since 1995, Shenyang has sounded the air-raid alarm on this occasion to commemorate the September 18 Incident for 28 years in a row.
At the 9.18 Historical Museum, nearly 300 people from all walks of life gathered and held a ceremony to commemorate the September 18 Incident and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
Flanked by the honor guards of the People’s Liberation Army, 14 representatives from various sectors struck a huge bell 14 times at around 9:18 a.m. in commemoration of the 14-year-long bitter war against Japanese invaders.
On Sept. 18, 1931, Japanese troops blew up a section of railway under their control near Shenyang and accused Chinese troops of sabotage as a pretext for the attack. Later that night, they bombarded barracks near Shenyang.
Just 3 km from the museum lies the Beidaying (Northern Grand Barracks) site that the Japanese troops bombarded. It officially reopened to visitors as an exhibition hall after renovations at the end of last year.
“The site is like an indelible deep scar left by the Japanese invaders, which the Chinese people will never forget,” said Jing Shaofu, former curator of the city archives.
Wang Cheng, a taxi driver, pulled over and honked the horn to pay tribute. “I stop my work to honk every year. That’s my way of remembering history.”
To the echoes of sirens and the tolling of the bell, Chen Jiale, a high school student, stood straight and gazed at the calendar-shaped September 18 Incident monument at the 9.18 Historical Museum.
“Like our parents and grandparents, our generation will never forget the history,” said Chen.
Other Chinese cities including Chengdu, Nanchang and Nanjing also sounded sirens as a reminder for people to stay alert in times of peace.