Veteran, 97, Shares War Stories on Mother's Day

May 16, 2017  Editor: Joyce Dong
Veteran, 97, Shares War Stories on Mother's Day

He Wei, 97, speaks at a live video show. [Shenzhen Daily/Ronny Verdoodt]


AS part of an event celebrating Mother's Day, a 97-year-old female veteran living in Shenzhen, a city in south China's Guangdong Province, was invited by to tell stories of her time during the War of Resistance Against Japan on a live video show from the Renda Benevolence Nursing Home in Shenzhen on Friday. 

He Wei was born in Dongguan in 1920 and grew up in a well-educated family fulfilled with freedom. Although foot-binding was common at that time in China, He's father refused to follow the inhuman tradition and protected his daughter with determination. 

In 1937 when the Lugou Bridge Incident broke out, He was only a 17-year-old junior high school student, but she participated in the war of resistance without hesitation. 

"At that time, students all had a strong determination to protect the country. Over 100 students asked for the government to allocate weapons. Although we only got around 40 guns and over 20 grenades, we thought we can go to the battlefield," said He. 

In 1938, He joined the anti-Japanese guerrillas named Dongguan Anti-Japanese Model Zhuangding Squadron along with three of her cousins. During war time, sacrificing for the country was the top honor for the young. 

"We were reluctant to accept that women were not allowed to go to the battlefront and some of us applied for the honor. Only three of the female soldiers were finally approved and some of them sacrificed in the battle," said He. 

He's Dongbao Team was in charge of encouraging more people to protect the country, organizing night classes, mediating disputes among different groups of people and sending goods and materials to soldiers. 

In the live video program, the elders at Renda also gave excellent choral and dancing performances on the day. Renda Benevolence Nursing Home, a nonprofit social welfare organization, was established in 2008 under the approval of the Shenzhen Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau. Ronny Verdoodt, the founder of a volunteer group named A Heart for China, visited the nursing home Friday to bring gifts to the elderly. Verdoodt, a Belgian, has led volunteers to Renda nearly 15 times. 

(Source: Shenzhen Daily)

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