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September 4, 2015

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Pens that rewrote history reunited

HUNDREDS of people from around the world took part in a ceremony in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Wednesday to mark the end of World War II. It began at 9:02am, Hawaii time, the exact moment the surrender was signed 70 years ago.

Among them were more than 20 World War II veterans, now in their late 80s or early 90s, some of whom had witnessed Japan’s surrender to Allied Forces on September 2, 1945.

Michael Carr, president and CEO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, said the ceremony was a special opportunity to honor the sacrifice and service of veterans, while memorializing one of the most significant dates in world history.

Li Kexin, minister at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, and Counselor Tang Zhiwen attended the ceremony.

An exhibition of historic artifacts that were part of the surrender included the pens (pictured right) that were used by Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz for the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.

One of them, a Parker, is on loan from Nanjing Museum in China.

Chief librarian Ouyang Zongjun arrived in Honolulu on August 28 with the pen to add it to a six-day exhibition in the Missouri Memorial Hall.

“I feel so honored and excited to bring this precious artifact back to the place it belonged,” said Ouyang.

“In my view, only when a cultural relic reunites with the historic site it came from can its real value be fully presented.

“It’s especially meaningful now because China is also marking the end of World War II with a grand military parade today in Beijing,” he said yesterday. “Although it’s a shame that I cannot watch the live broadcast, being here in Hawaii to help revive another significant piece of history is all worthwhile.”

The pen was given to Admiral Nimitz by his Chinese friend YC Woo, and after Nimitz signed the instrument on behalf of the United States, he returned it.

The pen later became part of the Nanjing Museum collection.

“The reunion of the ‘victory pens’ is symbolic as it represents the friendship between Chinese and American people,” Li said.


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