The Graveyard of the National Heroes is constructed to commemorate the martyrs at the battle of recovering Tengchong. The graveyard lies in the southwest of Tengchong. The construction started in 1944 and completed in July, 1945. The Graveyard of the National Heroes is the oldest and largest National Army Anti-Japanese Martyrs Cemetery established in China. In 1996, it was selected as the National Key Culture Relics Protection Unit and the Patriotism Education Base.
Introduction of Li Genyuan
It was Li Genyuan who firstly called for the construction of the memorial graveyard. Li Genyuan is a famous general of the Yunnan Army from from Tengchong. In 1923, he was appointed as the minister of agriculture and commerce.
During the war, he was the Ombudsman of Yunnan and Guizhou provinces. After western Yunnan was invaded by the Japanese in 1942, Li insisted on blocking the enemies on the west of Nujiang River and volunteered to fight in spite of his old age. His famous “A Letter to The People of Western Yunnan” enormously boosted the wills and determination to fight against the invaders.
Layout of the Graveyard of the National Heroes
Covering over 10,000 square meters, the main structures are the memorial tower, the martyrs’ tombs, the memorial hall and the gate. The graveyard consists of three parts, including the Memorial Square, the Monument, and the Heroes’ Tomb.
There are 2 exhibition halls with an exhibition area of 650 square meters including 141 pieces of the anti-war objects. The exhibition adopts the concept of the modern museums, including sound, light and electricity facilities. The contents of the exhibition are divided into five different parts.
The most impressive part of the cemetery is the small tombstones around the monument. The tombs of the martyrs are built around the tower radially. The tower is the center of the garden. There are eight fan-shaped cemeteries. From top to bottom, the tombstones are neatly arranged according to the sequence of the original combat troops and the title. The monument is engraved with the rank and name of the martyrs.