My Dad the U.S. China Marine

My Dad the U.S. China Marine

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Announcement! Going to Beijing for 70th Year Commemorations of End of World War II

The invitation I received totally caught me off-guard. I was stunned, surprised, elated and delighted. It was news that for a few minutes took my breath away. 

I'm going to Beijing and Tianjin for the 70th year commemorations of the end of World War II in China -at the formal invitation of the Chinese government. 

Now, do you understand why I reacted the way I did? It's not everyday that the Chinese government -or any government, for that matter- extends such a special invitation. 

The invitation came to my email box from Vice-Consul Zhu Jianzheng of the Chinese Consulate in New York City. He wrote:

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression as well as the World Anti-Fascist War. In accordance with the common practice and in reference to routines of other countries, the Chinese government will hold the grand commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression as well as the World Anti-Fascist War, in a bid to memorize the history, honor the martyrs, cherish peace and open up to the future. 

President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders will attend these activities. The Chinese side will also invite leaders from major belligerent states in the Second World War, Asian countries as well as countries in other regions, international organizations and foreign friends who contributed to the victory of China's war of resistance or their family members to these events.

Therefore, the Chinese government sincerely invites you representing your father Mr. Herbert Bingham Mead to attend these events.

Now do you understand why I just stared at my computer screen for a few minutes? I confess I contacted a few of my Chinese associates. "What should I do?" I asked.

"SAY YES AND GO!" was the universal response. Trust me, I did what I was told. 

Are there are adequate words to describe how touched and grateful I am for this auspicious invitation? To Liming Guan of China Press and Professor Dave Wang I am especially grateful. We met at Chef Yu Restaurant in midtown Manhattan to celebrate my good fortune which they did so much to make possible. 

The Great Hall of the People, Beijing, People's Republic of China. 

As of this time my exact itinerary is still being arranged. I will be flying from New York City to Beijing with an anticipated stay of one week. While there I will be attending various official events such as the military parade in Tiananmen Square and a grand banquet in the Great Hall of the People. 

Since this is my very first trip to China I will be touring the Forbidden City, Great Wall, the Summer Palace and other sites long associated with China's amazing history. I just heard that I will be meeting with the head of the Confucius Academy or Institute in Beijing, too. I work part-time as an online instructor and curriculum developer for a firm called Class 100 EDU, with the president looking forward to my arrival. 

I am sure that my Dad is up in Heaven smiling at all this. Rest assured to my fellow descendants of America's postwar China Marines I'll be there to represent you and those prude men we and the people of China so revere. I have a feeling that this is the first of many trips to China, and though this a process where long-lost friendships will be remembered and rekindled again. Stay tuned for more! The countdown to my departure is underway.