[align=center]The last veterans from Huangpu Military Academy
Photographed by Feng Zhu[/align]
In the early 20th century, China has experienced dramatic social changes either by civil political fights between old forces and new revolutionary strength or bloody invasion from imperial countries, which led to endless wars in those days. The Huangpu Military Academy was born for the sake of revolution and survival. Thousands of political and military elites graduated from the school. Graduates from the same school holding different political beliefs sometimes fight shoulder by shoulder against foreign invaders, sometimes they fight against each other. It was this process that impacted greatly on China’s progress.
The year 1949 represented a new era for Chinese history when the war was about to end. For most of those graduates who continued their living in mainland China began their long sufferings. Throughout their lives, they were ever heroes fighting for the country, they were ever classified as “disadvantaged citizens” but nevertheless they were a group of people who wanted to live their dreams. For nearly a century in their experiences their fates were so closely linked to the profile of the country that the individual’s experience mirrored each other in great significance.
Around the year of 2009, I interviewed about 10 graduates from Huangpu Military Academy who were still alive and living in Fenghua. It was then I found how tolerant they were. They could completely forget what had happened in the past no matter how brutal and cruel they were and could smile to the life and move on. I understand that for individual tolerance and magnanimity are great characters. While for a nation, I’m not sure what they would bring, fortune or tragedy.