BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Overseas Chinese who attended Thursday's V-Day Parade have lauded the event, highlighting the peaceful message it sent and recalling wartime history.
Nearly 2,000 overseas Chinese, including veterans, offsprings of wartime heroes and elites and leaders in various industries, were invited to watch the massive parade, which aimed to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II (WWII) and the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
A PARADE WITH PEACEFUL GOAL
Chinese American Shirley Young said she didn't know what to expect when she received an invitation to watch China's V-Day Parade, and wanted to see what it is truly like with her own eyes.
"I think the world might have many misconceptions towards China, especially about such grand events as military parade," Young said. "So I wanted to come and see what it is like."
Regarding it as something extraordinary, Young said she understands the main goal of the parade, which is not to allow such a tragic war from happening again. The goal is mentioned in President Xi Jinping's speech, and is also what other people have been talking about.
"I was there, and I think I will go back (home) and tell people that China's goal is not to scare others," Young said, adding that only focusing on the superficial spectacle of the parade could lead to misunderstandings.
Living in the United States for about seven decades, Young said Americans don't know much about China's great contributions to the victory of WWII, including the sacrifices it made in terms of lives and money. "This demands more publicity," Young said.
Promoting U.S.-China communication is a long-time endeavor for the 80-year-old Young, who is now the chairman of the U.S.-China Cultural Institute, the Cultural Associate of the Committee of 100, a New York-based organization of elite Chinese Americans.
Young's impression of a peaceful goal is echoed by many more, who also underlined China's peaceful message behind the mighty presentation.
Gao Jin, director of Overseas Chinese Newspaper of Europe, a newspaper for Chinese Romanians, pointed out the country's decision to cut troops.
"China is already the second largest economy in the world, and President Xi's announcement of cutting troops by 300,000 demonstrated a major country's confidence, Gao said.
Fernando Yuan, the first Chinese lawmaker in Buenos Aires city, Argentina, talked about the peace doves flying around at the end of the ceremony.
"So many formations have shown our (military) capacity, and the peace doves at the end expressed our love for the idea of peace, which is also the hope of overseas Chinese," Yuan said.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO PAY TRIBUTE TO VETERANS, RECALL HISTORY
The veteran formations that passed through the Tian'anmen Square at the beginning of Thursday's parade impressed many at the scene, including Young.
"It's right to honor them, and let them know they didn't do it for nothing," Young said, noting many more veterans devoted their lives in the war.
Among the deceased is her own father, Guangsheng Yang (1900-1942), who was then Chinese ambassador to Philippines when Japan invaded the archipelagic country on Dec. 8, 1941, just a few hours after it launched an attack on the Pearl Harbor.
Young's father, who refused to flee, was soon imprisoned and later killed by Japanese forces in April 1942. The family's comfortable lifestyle was destroyed as the city's gasoline, tap water and later electricity supplies were cut.
During the four years Manila was occupied by Japan, Young saw burning, bombing and ambulances full of injured people, many of whom died later. That was when she was between six and 10 years old.
Also witnessed Japan's atrocity in Philippines is 92-year-old veteran Dee Kong Hi, who joined an anti-Japanese guerrilla in the Philippines during wartime.
The guerrilla was made up of mainly Chinese, whose previous generations came from China's southern Fujian and Guangdong Provinces. It started with 52 members and expanded to more then 700, according to the Beijing Association of Returned Overseas Chinese from The Philippines.
The guerrilla, called "Wha Chi," fought with Philippine people against Japanese aggressors. More than 70 lost their lives, including Dee's elder brother.
Dee, who still walks swiftly by himself, said the grand parade makes him feel that world peace is secured.
A strong China can safeguard world peace, he said, adding that the essence is that it does not seek hegemony.
Zhang Sujiu, the youngest daughter of Zhang Zhizhong (1890-1969), a famous anti-Japanese general, was invited to watch the parade on the Tian'anmen Tower along with Chinese and foreign leaders.
Zhang recalled that his father, a Kuomingtang general, volunteered to lead the Battle of Shanghai in 1937, a major battle at the beginning of the anti-Japanese war that lasted three months.
He even wrote a note before going for the battle, vowing he would rather die on the battle ground than to live on in shame, she said.
Emphasizing the necessity of such a parade, Zhang said: "The reason we hold a commemorative ceremony now is to let the next generation remember history besides living a happy life."