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    9. Juli 2018 05:07:13 CEST

    By Xinhua writers Bai Xu Air Jordan 1 Wheat 2017 , Lyu Qiuping

     

    BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Lugou Bridge, about 15 km southwest of Beijing's city center, is a quiet place, but the bullet-riddled wall of the nearby fortress serves as a reminder of the infamous conflict here 77 years ago.

     

    Also known as Marco Polo Bridge after the Venetian traveler who praised its architecture, the 800-year-old stone structure saw the beginning of China's eight-year resistance against Japanese invasion.

     

    Before the anniversary of the "July 7 Incident" which marked the start of the war, Xinhua reporters spoke to locals about their memories of the era and the fate of the bridge since then. We found that Air Jordan 1 Wheat , while it at one point fell into a state of disrepair, the bridge and its surrounding area have now been preserved as powerful monuments for the Chinese people.

     

    MEMORIES OF TRAUMA

     

    Seventy-seven years ago, Yang Shufang was relaxing in the summer heat. The 91-year-old's home was then four kilometers from the fortress, or Wanping Town.

     

    "We heard gun shots," she recalled. "At first, I thought it was shooting practice, but then someone shouted Jordan 1 Retro Wheat , 'The Japanese are coming'."

     

    Another elderly woman, 83-year-old Zhou Rui, lived by the bridge in 1937. She can still recall her fright after the gun shots. "We found shelter under the bed," she told Xinhua. "We had no watch and thus couldn't tell how long we hid."

     

    The shots heralded the July 7 Incident, which later led to all-out war.

     

    International opinion is divided on what exactly happened, but most in China believe that on that evening, the Japanese army present at Lugou Bridge for a military maneuver insisted on entering Wanping Town to search for a missing soldier. When their demand was rejected Jordan 1 High OG Wheat , they attacked the Chinese troops, who fought back. However, the Chinese soldiers were outnumbered and ill-equipped. In less than a month, Beijing was taken over by the Japanese.

     

    Several Japanese soldiers soon went to Zhou's house for accommodation.

     

    Yang became a refugee, fleeing all the way to south China, and then the east. "There were so many refugees," she said. "Some were killed in bombing by the Japanese army Jordan 1 High Wheat , while some died as their ships capsized."

     

    She had no income. "Some young women died after gang rapes in factories run by the Japanese," according to Yang. In the hope of avoiding trouble by hiding their beauty, she and her friends covered their faces with soot before going out. But Yang's youngest brother died of shock, after a Japanese soldier pointed his gun at him.

     

    In 1945, the Japanese invaders finally surrendered. Yang cooked fish and made dumplings in celebration as people partied around her.

     

    DILAPIDATION AND PRESERVATION

     

    In the following decades, the bridge and the fortress were left to dilapidate.

     

    Zhou Rui remembered that an entrance tower of the fortress disappeared and cracks developed in the walls.

     

    Li Xiulan, 61 Jordan 1 Wheat Pre Order , had a vantage point over the bridge after she landed a job at a nearby stove factory in 1969. "Lugou Bridge was surrounded by fields," she said. "There was no light. Everywhere was dark at night. Wind hurled sand on people's faces."

     

    She lived in a factory dormitory. Her husband and son had to take a bus from their home in downtown Beijing to visit her. But the transport infrastructure was in a sorry state.

     

    There were only two bus routes going toward Lugou Bridge. Buses were allowed to pass over the ancient bridge, posing a tremendous risk to its stability.

     

    "Most of the passengers were commuters," said 51-year-old Cheng Bingjiang, who worked for two years as a bus conductor on one of the two routes.

     

    Occasionally, he saw visitors, usually foreigners Jordan 1 Wheat For Sale , holding a written note and asking for the way to this famous site they had heard about.

     

    Cheng would tell his passengers stories about the bridge. "It was once famous for the artistically unique stone lions that lined both sides, but many statues were either broken or missing," he explained.

     

    Local children used to play games counting the lions that remained. One of them was Wang Yan.

     

    Wang lived near Lugou Bridge between the age of three and eight. "I counted with my playmates, but each time the number we got was different," she said.

     

    The river then was swollen, with the water level sometimes even submerging the bridge. "Once, I saw the water so close to me Jordan 1s Wheat , and thought that I might be absorbed into the river. So I cried," Wang recalled.

     

    In 1981, she moved to downtown Beijing. Five years later, the bridge was closed to vehicles in a move to preserve it.

     

    Many things have changed throughout the decades.

     

    A stable in Wanping Town which once accommodated Japanese soldiers became the location of a people's commune, the highest of three administrative levels in rural areas between the 1950s and 1980s. In 2004, it was turned into the nursing home where Yang and Zhou now live.

     

    Lugou New Bridge, originally built in 1971 Jordan 1 Wheat 2017 , was reconstructed and opened to traffic in May 2009.

     

    While Lugou Bridge was the starting point of the old Beijing-Guangzhou railway a century ago, the Beijing-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway went into operation in December 2012.

     

    At least nine bus routes now go past Lugou Bridge. A subway station is also under construction to serve the site.

     

    But the improvement of traffic infrastructure has not brought people flooding to the bridge and the fortress. The two historical sites stand oddly quiet.

     

    Many residents of Wanping Town were relocated to other neighborhoods. Some leased their houses to vendors, who complain about the lack of customers.

     

    Tourists seem to prefer the Memorial Museum of the Chinese People's Anti-Japanese War. Constructed on the ruins of the bombed Wanping government and opened on July 7, 1987, it has received a total of 20 million visitors to date.

     

    "Lugou Bridge and the museum not only show the world the b

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