This year marks the 76th anniversary of the “Hong Kong Remembrance Day”. The Hong Kong Army Service Corps Association (HKMSC) held a ceremony today at the Sai Wan Military Cemetery in Chai Wan to mourn the soldiers who died for Hong Kong during the “Hong Kong Defence War” and several consulates in Hong Kong. Representatives and dozens of citizens attended.
The sky was gloomy this morning and the observatory issued a yellow rainstorm warning. During the ceremony, there was heavy rain, and representatives from the consulates-generals of many countries in Hong Kong and Macau and the Chamber of Commerce sent the wreaths in the rain. Retired Chinese British soldiers and descendants of World War II veterans also attended the ceremony.
Mr. Zhou, who came with his wife and mother, listened to his mother-in-law about the pain during the Japanese Occupation period when he was a child, and believed that everyone in Hong Kong needs to remember this period of history. He attended the ceremonies in 2016 and 18 and felt that more young people had come in the past. He also pointed out that the Hong Kong government cancelled the public holiday for the anniversary after the reunification, making this history seem to have been forgotten since then.
The chairman of the association and former Chinese British soldier Cheng Yuanji expressed the hope that young people will learn more about this important local history. He pointed to the memorial engraved with the names of more than 2,000 dead soldiers, saying that he was just doing his duty to commemorate and ignored other political factors.
During the Second World War, the Japanese army split into three groups from December 8, 1941, and invaded Hong Kong from the border. The British army and Canadian soldiers jointly resisted on the 18th, and finally fell. About 2,000 soldiers died in the battle, known in history as the “Hong Kong Defence Battle.” On August 15, 1945, after Japan announced its defeat and surrender, Britain resumed its rule in Hong Kong on the 30th of the same month, ending the three-year and eight-month period of Japanese rule. Therefore, August 30 was also called the “Chongguang Memorial Day.”
After the reunification, the Hong Kong government cancelled the memorial day to commemorate Hong Kong’s Chongguang and other memorial days with the colors of the Hong Kong and British era, and changed May 1st and 11th to public holidays.