Gala planned for V-J Day's 70th

Updated: 2015-03-25 11:32

By Lia Zhu in San Francisco(China Daily USA)

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Overseas Chinese in Northern California are getting pumped up for a gala commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day).

The event, slated for August 16, the day after V-J Day, is expected to be the largest of its kind in the US in terms of the size of the audience and the number of performers, as well as participating societies, the organizers told a press conference in Milpitas, California, on Monday.

"This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45). We hope the Chinese, along with other ethnic groups in the US, can honor the Chinese people's great fortitude in fighting the Japanese invasion, realize the disasters brought by wars and cherish the peace we have now," said Yingming He, president of the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia, at the conference.

 Gala planned for V-J Day's 70th

Alan Ho, president of Global Alliance for Preserving the History of World War II in Asia, speaks at a press conference Monday in California, flanked by Betty Yuan, director of Northern California Chinese Culture-Athletic Federation, and Jindong Cai, Stanford orchestral studies director. Lia Zhu / China Daily

The gala will be staged at City National Civic, a 3,000-seat sports arena and concert venue in San Jose, which is a perfect choice for this event's concept, said Jindong Cai, director of orchestral studies at Stanford University and executive producer of the event.

"Art is supposed to be inspirational," said Cai. "The extended stage of the venue will help integrate the 3,000 in the audience with the ambience, taking them back into history and allowing them to experience the scenes for themselves."

During the first half of the program, which lasts about an hour, recitations, solo songs and dances will be performed by well-known artists from China and the US, according to Cai.

The second half of the show will culminate in the Yellow River Cantata, composed by Chinese composer Xian Xinghai during the Sino-Japanese War. More than 200 members of choral groups in the San Francisco Bay Area will participate in the performance.

The lyrics of the cantata, adapted from the patriotic poem Yellow River, express the oppression of Chinese people under the Japanese invaders and call for all Chinese to defend their nation.

Similar shows have been held in about 12 cities with high concentrations of Chinese, such as New York, Houston and San Diego, said Qi Dai, the event's producer. "But we aim to give the most influential one by inviting the children of prestigious generals and officers during the war, as well as personages and political figures from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and the US," he said.

Among the invited guests are Zheng Jianbang, grandson of well-known anti-Japanese General Zheng Dongguo and vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang; Sue Zhang, daughter of famous anti-Japanese General Zhang Zhizhong and president of the Roundtable of Chinese American Organizations in Southern California; and Nell Calloway Chennault, granddaughter of Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault who led the American "Flying Tigers" and the Republic of China Air Force in World War II.

Around $300,000 has been raised for the event.

On Aug 15, 1945, Japan surrendered, ending World War II and in effect ending the war of Chinese resistance against Japanese aggression.

(China Daily USA 03/25/2015 page3)