China and the United States both honor their military. The United States does this on Veterans Day (Monday, November 11) and Memorial Day (Monday, May 25). China celebrates its annual Army Day on August 1st.
Veterans Day in the United States is a federal holiday to honor military veterans that have served in the United States Armed Forces.
History.com says, “Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.”
In the United States, federal employees get the day off for Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
China celebrates Army Day August 1st, and according to China HIGHLIGHTS.com, the men and women that are active-duty troops have half a day off. Although Army Day in China is a holiday, it is a working holiday and not an official day off.
Army Techology.com says, China Military Online estimated in 2015, that 53,000 women (less than 5 percent of the total number of troops) also serve in China’s Army. In the United States, according to the Defense Department, women now make up 20 percent of the Air Force, 19 percent of the Navy, 15 percent of the Army and almost 9 percent of the Marine Corps.
The Basics explained by Chinese American Family.com: The People’s Liberation Army was founded on August 1, 1927, in Nanchang during a rebellion against nationalist Kuomintang forces. They were known simply as the Red Army during the Chinese Civil War (April 1927 – May 1, 1950). The People’s Liberation Army assumed its role as the armed forces of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Today, the People’s Liberation Army counts more than two million troops.
I think it is important to note that China’s Civil War started days after the Shanghai massacre of April 12, 1927 when Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had his troops slaughter thousands of Communist Party members and union workers without warning followed by a full-scale purge (executions without trials) of Communists in all areas under the KMT’s military control. Before April 12, 1927, the Communist Party was one of the political parties that made up the fledgling Republic of China started by Dr. Sun Yat-sen.
“You’re unlikely to see any public celebration of Army Day outside of China, except for perhaps a joint ceremony with a host country at a foreign embassy. Otherwise, this is a domestic state occasion marked by speeches and military demonstrations.”
AnydayGuide reports, “The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China established Red Army Day in 1933.”
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.