The remains of 25 Chinese soldiers who died during the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53) arrive back in their motherland at Shenyang Taoxian International Airport on Thursday. People's Liberation Army soldiers carried caskets, covered by China's national flag, out of the plane for a brief remembrance ritual after the transport aircraft landed. (CHEN SONG/FOR CHINA DAILY)
The remains of 25 Chinese soldiers who died during the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53) were brought back to their motherland on Thursday and are scheduled to be buried at a martyrs' cemetery in Shenyang, capital of Northeast China's Liaoning province, on Friday.
The remains of and articles belonging to the fallen fighters were carried back from Incheon in the Republic of Korea by a Y-20 strategic transport plane of the People's Liberation Army Air Force to Shenyang on Thursday morning.
As soon as the Y-20 entered Chinese airspace, two J-20 stealth fighter jets formed an escort to honor the fallen warriors.
After the transport aircraft landed at Shenyang Taoxian International Airport, PLA soldiers carried the caskets, covered by China's national flag, out of the plane and placed them in front of hundreds of government officials, military personnel and representatives of the public for a brief remembrance ritual.
After the ceremony, the caskets were transported by PLA trucks and escorted by a police motorcade to the Chinese People's Volunteer Army Martyrs' Cemetery in Shenyang. A large number of Shenyang residents stood along the route, holding flowers and national flags to show respect.
The whole event was broadcast live by China Central Television.
A burial ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday morning in the cemetery.
After watching the broadcast on television, Li Weibo, a 92-year-old veteran who fought in the war, said: "Today, 25 soldiers came back home. Though it has been more than 70 years since their passing, the motherland and the people have never forgotten them and have finally brought them back home with respect and honor."
The veteran said he was glad that his fallen comrades were accorded a grand ceremony by the country and they could "see the prosperity of the motherland today".
"The best way of remembering them is to uphold their fighting spirit and keep moving forward against difficulties and challenges," Li said.
Zhang Jingtao, an official at Dadong district's justice bureau and a voluntary lecturer of national defense knowledge, said he will share the heroic stories of the fallen soldiers with more people to encourage them to better serve the country in their line of work.
Earlier on Thursday morning, a handover ceremony for the remains was held at Incheon International Airport in the Republic of Korea.
Chang Zhengguo, China's vice-minister of veterans affairs, said at the airport that China is grateful to related authorities and workers in the ROK for their efforts in recovering and handing over the remains. China will further deepen its cooperation and communication with the ROK to bring the remains of other Chinese soldiers back home, he added.