WWII memorial announced for Bay Area
Updated: 2014-07-08 13:08
By Lian Zi in San Francisco (China Daily USA)
The WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall, the first overseas anti-Japanese memorial, was launched on Monday in San Mateo, California.
From left: Flying Tigers veteran James Whitehead Jr; Yuan Nansheng, consul general of China in San Francisco; website CEO Li Wen; Florence Fang, chairwoman of the Florence Fang Family Foundation; Jose Esteves, mayor of Milpitas, California; and Ding Yuan, executive vice-president of the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia, put hands together on the donation box to announce the launch of the WWII Pacifi c War Memorial Hall in San Mateo, California on Monday. Lian Zi / China Daily
Florence Fang, chairwoman of the Florence Fang Family Foundation, made the announcement at a press conference hosted by the Consulate General of China in the building of Florence Fang Family Foundation in San Mateo on Monday.
The memorial hall was expected to open next September in the Bay Area of San Francisco, said Fang, who will be the curator of the memorial hall.
Also known as Fang Li Bangqin, Fang is an active community leader in the Bay Area.
On July 7, 1937 - 77 years ago Monday - the Japanese Imperial Army opened fire on Chinese soldiers stationed in Wanping town, a crucial access southwest of Beijing, and launched a full-scale invasion of China. This triggered a firefight that led to the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).
Fang said the museum will house exhibits of historic photographs and oral records that depict Japan's atrocities during the war.
"Building the memorial hall is a way to protect history and educate the next generations with valuable historical records," she said.
"The Chinese people were not fighting alone against the Japanese invaders," Fang said. "We had our American friends standing side-byside with our forces to fight together against the Japanese."
She named the memorial the WWII Paci; c War Memorial Hall to remind people of the history of the China-US alliance against Japan during WWII and pass it on to future generations, she said.
Yuan Nansheng, consul general of China in San Francisco, congratulated the launch of the memorial.
"Peace, development and cooperation were the three most important goals in today's international relations," he said.
"Although it is a historical site, we want to design and build it in a modern style by using contemporary construction materials, like polished steel and glass," said Li Tao, one of the four designers of the hall.
"The memorial hall will not only be a historical site, it will also be a place for young people to learn about history."
(China Daily USA 07/08/2014 page1)