File Photo: William Brown (R), husband of Gail Cooper Baumgartner-Brown, pours some water into the flower bottle at the tomb of Gail's father Joseph Cooper in the suburb area of Chicago, the United States, on Aug. 18, 2017. (Xinhua/Wang Ping)
CHICAGO, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Deputy Consul General in Chicago Liu Jun placed a bunch of flowers on the tomb of Joseph Cooper in a cemetery about 59 km northwest of Chicago on the Memorial Day, which falls on this last Monday of May.
Cooper, 1920-2006, is remembered as a veteran soldier of the legendary Flying Tigers, a group of American volunteers who have stood shoulder in shoulder with Chinese people in their fight against Japanese invaders from 1941 to 1945.
With General Claire Lee Chennault as its commander, the Flying Tigers is a household name in China.
As a Flying Tigers soldier, Cooper fought in China and contributed greatly in the Anti-Fascist War.
"To commemorate Chinese old friend Cooper at this special moment, the Memorial Day, is of particular significance," Liu said.
By commemorating Cooper, "we are also commemorating the unique history of World War II," Liu said. "We don't want to repeat that history."
As the world's two largest economies, China and the United States have the responsibility of jointly safeguarding the world's security. By controlling differences and enhancing understanding, the two countries can build a safer 21st Century for the world, Liu said. "This is also the significance we are here today."
Liu told Gail Cooper Baumgartner-Brown, daughter of Cooper, that the Chinese Consulate in Chicago will lay flowers and commemorate Cooper every year on the Memorial Day.
Standing beside, Gail was emotional. "I'm very grateful to my new Chinese family and the way that they've just embraced our family," Gail said. "My dad and the other Flying Tigers soldiers mean the world to me."
"My father was my hero as well as the hero of the Chinese people, and I really miss him terribly," Gail told Xinhua.
Gail and her husband will for the first time visit China in October this year. She will go to all the different cities her father was in when he served in the country.
"It's just going to be amazing to be able to walk into places that he walked and see what he saw," Gail said, adding that she looks forward to visiting a Flying Tigers museum in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where her father was once stationed.
"I'm forever grateful for the devotion they're showing to my dad and the rest of the Flying Tigers," she said of the Chinese poeple. "Their hearts are so incredible, they're so open, they're so welcoming for us ... I can't wait to be just a little bit closer to that."