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People's heroes behind nation's prosperity

By Ma Minghui | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-10-08 08:47

A scene in the film The Battle at Lake Changjin features actors Wu Jing (center), Zhu Yawen and Li Chen (left). [Photo provided to China Daily]

On Sept 30, the eighth Martyrs' Day in China, I watched a touching and patriotic film about the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53) ——The Battle at Lake Changjin. Co-produced and directed by Chen Kaige, Hark Tsui and Lin Chaoxian, the movie received widespread attention prior to its release in China, in a year which marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the 71st anniversary of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. The release of this film has also offered a chance for the young generation of China to remember history and heroes, as well as the reality that China’s prosperity and strength cannot be separated from sacrifice and dedication.

More than 70 years ago, the Chinese people's Volunteer Army, shouldering the great trust of the people and the expectations of the nation, marched across the Yalu River and eventually won a great victory after two years and nine months of bloody and arduous fighting, with the Battle at Lake Changjin being one of the most decisive ones in the war.

The movie centers on the actions of the heroic "Company Seven" and its fellow troops, reflecting the fighting spirit and moving stories of ordinary volunteers while providing a panoramic view of the epic battle, which pitted the Chinese people's Volunteer Army against the special military troops of the US Army amid the extreme cold of -40 C. The Battle at Lake Changjin does an extraordinary job of highlighting the bravery and tenacity of these heroes from multiple angles. In the film, many soldiers, running out of bullets, charged forward with empty guns, while others, crushed under tanks, let their comrades fire around them.

Over 70 years ago, countless ordinary Chinese stepped onto the battlefield to fight for our homeland in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea, in which more than 197,000 compatriots gave their precious lives. In that great era, 300,000-plus heroes such as Yang Gensi, Huang Jiguang and Qiu Shaoyun and nearly 6,000 meritorious collectives emerged in the volunteer army. When those heroes sacrificed themselves, some were still very young. At that time, most of the volunteer martyrs were buried directly on the spot, except for a few who were transported back to the country for burial.

For more than half a century, China has never forgotten its heroes. Since 2014, China has received eight batches of remains of 825 volunteers for eight consecutive years, saluting the sacrifices of these courageous individuals while remembering history.

In this year, China has made enormous achievements in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, reflecting how China is becoming a stronger nation. In this journey, it is the countless heroes defending the country with their youth and even their lives -- such as the soldiers memorialized in The Battle of Lake Changjin -- who have ultimately realized China’s prosperity and strength.

The author is a postgraduate student at Shandong University.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.

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