The remains of 117 Chinese soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War were laid to rest on Monday in a cemetery in Shenyang, capital of northeast China’s Liaoning Province.
The remains of the fallen soldiers returned to China on Sunday from the Republic of Korea (ROK). It was the seventh such repatriation following a handover agreement signed between the two countries.
The burial ceremony began at about 10 a.m. at the martyrs’ cemetery for the Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV). A military band played a song commemorating the soldiers as everyone present stood in solemn silence.
To the tune of the national anthem, honor guards carrying the caskets of the martyrs entered the cemetery, which was surrounded by wreaths of yellow and white chrysanthemum.
Sun Shaocheng, minister of veterans affairs, delivered a memorial speech at the ceremony, calling on compatriots to inherit the spirit of the martyrs and make contributions to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
“May the martyrs rest in peace and their spirits be forever remembered,” said Sun. “The CPV martyrs are immortal!”
Everyone present bowed three times before the remains of the martyrs. Soldiers fired shots in the air, as a mark of tribute to the fellow servicemen.
Seventy years ago, the CPV crossed the Yalu River and fought alongside the army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea against the ROK army and U.S.-led UN forces, eventually winning the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea in 1953.
A total of 2.9 million CPV soldiers entered the battlefield, and 197,653 of them sacrificed their lives in the war. The names of the martyrs can be seen on a memorial wall at the CPV martyrs’ cemetery in Shenyang.
Between 2014 and 2019, the remains of 599 soldiers brought back from the ROK were buried in the martyrs’ cemetery.
“We never thought of coming back. Every soldier was determined to defend the country with their life,” said 88-year-old Li Weibo, who operated anti-aircraft artillery during the war.
“Today, they finally returned home and were laid to rest,” Li said. “The country and the people never forgot them.”