The story of a 93-year-old woman who was finally “reunited” with her husband, who died on the battlefield during the Second Sino-Japanese War, upon seeing his name on a martyr’s shrine 77 years later has been shared thousands of times on Chinese social media.
Zhang Shuying first met her husband, army officer Zhong Chongxin, during a blind date in Fuzhou 79 years ago, when she was only 14 years old. The young couple fell in love and got married straight away, a local newspaper in Fuzhou reports.
In 1937, just two years after they settled into marriage, Japanese troops invaded China and Zhong left for Shanghai to perform his duty as a soldier. “He suddenly gave me a hug from behind after we said goodbye,” Zhang told reporters. “He cried and promised he would come back for me.” Zhang packed up and moved to Chongqing, Zhong’s hometown, where she anxiously awaited his return.
After only one phone call from Zhong, Zhang never heard from her husband again. For seven years she waited for him, but he never returned. In 1944, she met one of Zhong’s fellow soldiers on the street and learned that he had died in battle.
In 1949, Zhang married another man and had three children. Years passed, Zhang grew older, but she still couldn’t stop thinking about her first love. In 1988, she finally decided to tell her children about Zhong.
Touched by their mother’s story, her children sought out to find the final resting place of her first husband. After years of effort, they finally located Zhong Chongxin on a Martyr’s Shrine in Taipei.
On November 22, Zhang finally arrived in Taipei to see Zhong’s name inscribed on a plaque in the shrine among scores of fallen soldiers. She stayed in the capital for seven days, and visited the shrine three times before she left.
“I’ve only cried three times in my life,” she told a reporter who documented her reunion. “I must have known him in a previous lifetime, because every time I cried it was for him,” she said.
Zhang first cried when she got the message of Zhong’s death. Seventy years later, she received a photo of her late husband and ended up in tears. When she looked upon his name in Taipei, she cried again. “We will never be apart now,” she said.
By Dina Li