People pay tribute to firefighters who gave their lives battling a recent forest fire in Xichang, southwest China's Sichuan Province, April 4, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Xi)
CHENGDU, April 4 (Xinhua) -- The city of Xichang in southwest China's Sichuan Province held a memorial service Saturday to mourn the 19 firefighters who gave their lives battling a recent forest fire.
People from all walks of life laid flowers and paid tribute to 18 firefighters and a local forest farmworker who led the way for the firefighters at a local funeral home. They were trapped in the fire due to a sudden change in wind direction Tuesday morning.
Many shops across the city also hung elegiac couplets or projected their salute on electronic signs to the heroes.
"They died to protect the city, and today I want to say goodbye to them," said Fu Xue, a local high school student who attended the memorial service.
A fire started on a local farm Monday afternoon and quickly spread to nearby mountains due to strong winds. It was put out on Thursday.