CHINA 75-year-old disabled veteran looks after martyrs' cemetery for over five decades

CHINA

75-year-old disabled veteran looks after martyrs' cemetery for over five decades

People's Daily app

21:02, April 03, 2021

Zhao Xianjun wipes the tombstones at a memorial cemetery for martyrs in Si county, East China’s Anhui Province, on April 1. With the help of villagers and the local government, the 75-year-old veteran built the memorial cemetery for martyrs who sacrificed in Lingbi county during the Huaihai battle of the War of Liberation (1946-1949). Zhao has been guarding the 387 martyrs buried here for over fifty years.

Zhao Xianjun stands in front of the Dongzhaoji Memorial Cemetery for Martyrs in Si county, East China’s Anhui Province, on April 1. Zhao joined the army in 1964 and was injured in an accident during his service. After retiring from the army in 1969, he learned the stories about the martyrs buried in the mound nearby his house and then made up his mind to erect monuments for these martyrs.

Zhao Xianjun wipes the tombstones at a memorial cemetery for martyrs in Si county, East China’s Anhui Province, on April 1. Zhao has limited mobility, but he insists on cleaning up the overgrown grass, wipes the tombs, and tidies up the flowers every day with his wife's help. Meanwhile, he has been contacting sources to identify the martyrs and help them find relatives.

Zhao Xianjun wipes the tombstones at a memorial cemetery for martyrs in Si county, East China’s Anhui Province, on March 31.

Zhao Xianjun wipes the tombstones at a memorial cemetery for martyrs in Si county, East China’s Anhui Province, on March 31.

Zhao Xianjun reviews old photos of himself when he served the army on April 1.

Zhao Xianjun and his wife clear up overgrown grass and weeds in front of the tombstones at a memorial cemetery for martyrs in Si county, East China’s Anhui Province, on April 1.

Zhao Xianjun listens to the memorial speech from student representatives of the Central School of Huangxu town, Si county, on April 1. (Photos: Xinhua, compiled by Yang Jiaqi)

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