Sirens sounded and a huge bell tolled in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, on Saturday in commemoration of the September 18 Incident 90 years ago that marked the start of Japan's 14-year invasion of China.
Some 300 people gathered in front of the 9.18 Historical Museum in the morning. At 9:18 a.m., 14 representatives from all walks of life struck a huge bell at the museum 14 times together, symbolizing the arduous course of China's 14-year-long bitter war against Japanese aggressors. Air raid sirens wailed for three minutes, with pedestrians stopping simultaneously and cars honking horns.
Zhang Jian, a 90-year-old veteran, said although 90 years have passed, Chinese people must not forget the painful historical lesson that caused tens of millions of casualties.
"We must be prepared for danger in times of peace, bearing in mind that a backward country will be beaten. We should be united to build a strong country," said Zhang.
On Sept. 18, 1931, Japanese troops blew up a section of railway under their control near Shenyang and accused Chinese troops of sabotage as a pretext for the attack. Later that night, they bombarded barracks near Shenyang, starting the bloody invasion.
Since 1995, Shenyang has sounded the alarm every year to commemorate the September 18 Incident.