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'You are the future,' writes Wen

CHINESE Premier Wen Jiabao wrote to elementary and high school students in earthquake-devastated Dujiangyan City, Sichuan Province, on the eve of the first anniversary of the May 12 disaster.

Officials said that about 10,000 students from 50 elementary and high schools were undergoing art therapy, with the help of psychiatrists from Shanghai, the city that has assisted Dujiangyan in its rebuilding efforts.

The organizer of the program chose 150 of their paintings and published them in a collection, "Beautiful Flowers." These were the words Wen wrote on a blackboard when he visited a local elementary school on September 2 last year.

A copy of the book, signed by 156 Dujiangyan students, had been sent to Wen.

My dear children,

I have received the album of paintings entitled "Beautiful Flowers" you signed and sent to me. Thank you very much.

My heart was deeply touched when I saw your elaborate works. They are unique and authentic depictions of what you experienced in that solemn and stirring earthquake-relief campaign.

You were brave enough to face the catastrophe and full of confidence and courage to surmount the difficulties; you have stood up in the ruins with your backs straight; and you have buried pain and great love deep in your hearts and turned them into strength to move forward.

You are the most beautiful flowers, which have blossomed out on this disaster-hit land, and you are the future and hope of the country and the people.

Our country is plagued with frequent disasters, and we can only overcome them with a scientific attitude, practical spirit and strenuous effort, to enable people, primarily children, to live in peace, harmony and happiness.

You have expressed your memories of me and I also miss you, and I miss all the children in the disaster-hit areas.

I love you deeply!

Wen Jiabao


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