Ontarians attend a memorial that commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre in Toronto, Canada, on Dec 13, 2017.
Ontarians from all walks of life marked the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre in Toronto, Canada the night of Dec 12, local time, to keep pace with services back in China on National Memorial Day, Dec 13.
The day also marked the fourth National Memorial Day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre in China with a call for measures to prevent so atrocious a human tragedy from ever happening again.
On Dec 13, 1937, the Japanese army bombed Nanjing and went on a murderous rampage through the city, then China's capital, killing Chinese residents and disarming soldiers in the following six weeks.
Wang Haicheng, co-chairman of the joint Commemoration Preparation Committee; Zhong Xinsheng, co-chair of National Congress of Chinese Canadians; Soo Wong, Ontario provincial parliament member; and Jenny Kwan, Member of Parliament of the New Democratic Party all laid wreaths for the victims at the beginning of the memorial.
Last month, Wong had proposed the motion to designate Dec 13 as Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day in the province of Ontario. Kwan, who came all the way from Ottawa to attend the memorial, prepared to call on the Canadian government to proclaim Dec 13 as a national Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day.
Chinese Consul General He Wei; Raymond Cho, an Ontario politician and representative of Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown; Soo Wong; and Jenny Kwan delivered speeches to help people draw lessons from history and consolidate their commitment to peace and a solid foundation for lasting peace in the world.
Eighty attendees read the Declaration of Peace on-site and sent a peace-loving message to the whole world at the Chinese Cultural Center of Greater Toronto.
Leaders of the Buddhist Association of Canada also prayed for world peace and harmony at the memorial.
Ning Zhongkang, a 100-year-old Chinese-Canadian anti-war veteran, lighted the altar patterned in "1937.12.13" marked with hundreds of white candles together with dozens of children.
Historical photos and other evidence related to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre was exhibited on-site. The exhibition was co-organized by the Nanjing Association of Canada and The World War II Asian Memorial Museum of Canada.
In July this year, Wang Haicheng, president of the Nanjing Association of Canada, proposed 80 Chinese communities should work jointly to organize memorial activities and hold exhibitions of survivors' testimonies and historical evidence. A mass rally and series of public commemorative activities were launched in North America, South America, Europe, Oceania, Southeast Asia and Africa on Dec 13.
Andrew Scheer, head of Canada's conservative party, wrote a statement to support this memorial and the establishment of The World War II Asian Memorial Museum of Canada on behalf of the whole party. Stephen Lindley, a family member of Norman Bethune, a Canadian physician who served as a doctor for the Chinese guerilla army during WWII, as well as important members of the Canadian government and the Chinese government all sent more than 100 support letters to this event.