CNC report from Washington D.C.
Added On May 29, 2012
The United States observed Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces, on Monday.
In the ceremony, a group of U.S. volunteers, who fought alongside the Chinese against Japanese aggressors in World War II, were also honored.
China Report has the story.
The ceremony was observed at the Air Force Memorial outside of Washington D.C., overlooking the Pentagon, to commemorate the men and women who devoted their lives while serving in the country's armed forces.
The Flying Tigers, a group of volunteer pilots who fought in China during World War II, were also among the memorized.
Nell Calloway, granddaughter of Flying Tigers commander General Claire Lee Chennault, laid a wreath to commemorate U.S. aviators who lost their lives defending China against Imperial Japan.
Volunteers unfolded a banner bearing photographs of the fallen Flying Tigers, which reads "Honoring the 'Flying Tigers' who died defending freedom in the skies over China during World War II."
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) NELL CALLOWAY, DESCENDANT OF FLYING TIGERS:
"We really need to help all Americans understand how important it is to remember the Chinese and Americans who lost their lives. What a great way to remind them are the cooperation that we felt in World War II. And by reminding them in that cooperation we can build a bridge for a better future."
Warren Hegg, supervisor of a national program called "Keep the Spirit of 45 Alive," an initiative to preserve the legacy of the World War II generation, said the spirit in the past should be restored.
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) WARREN HEGG, NATIONAL PROGRAM SUPERVISOR:
"That memory, the way the Chinese people and the American people came together in common cause, that's a spirit that ought to be restored. The two countries are now, when you look into the future, they will be have such a significant role to play in the world. It's very important that they rekindle that feeling, person to person, people to people."
In 1941, General Chennault founded the American Volunteer Group, nicknamed as Flying Tigers, and led American pilots to China.
In their first air combat in December 1941, the Flying Tigers downed six enemy bombers and damaged four.
In the ensuing six months, the Flying Tigers fought more than 100 combats, shooting down 272 enemy aircraft and destroying another 225 on the ground, which earned them great reputation and lauds.
In May 1942, Japanese troops overran Myanmar bordering India, cutting off the last significant land routes used to transport supplies to China.
Chinese and American pilots then established a 500-mile air route, known as Hump Route, flying goods from India to China over the Himalayas and the Hengduan Mountains.
More than 500 planes crashed along the Hump Route, claiming the lives of over 1,500 Chinese and American pilots.
US pilots for China memorized
Added On May 29, 2012