China’s Ambassador Qin Gang is wearing a Flying Tigers uniform, which the organizers unveiled on Saturday before the opening ceremony of the 80th anniversary of the Flying Tigers and the United States WWII Air Defense of China Photo Expo. (Photo by YIFAN XU / CHINA DAILY)
The United States and China should continue their unique ties formed years ago, set an example for the world and work together for peace and survival, two Flying Tigers veterans wrote to the Chinese Ambassador to the United States.
The American Volunteer Group in the Chinese Air Force, better known as “The Flying Tigers”, was formed in 1941 by US General Claire Lee Chennault. A group of volunteer American pilots went to China and stood shoulder to shoulder with the Chinese people to fight the invading Japanese troops.
Harry Moyer, 101, and Robert Moore, 98, were members of that fighting team.
“Friendly and cooperative relations between our two countries are vital to world peace and survival,” Robert Moore said in his letter to Ambassador Qin Gang.
Moore said “the world is facing even more dangers” than he had imagined. “I am thinking of dangers that will affect every human being on earth,” he wrote, citing climate change, which is far from “treaties or border disputes that could affect two or three nations.”
“That’s why we need to work together, work together and in the spirit of friendship,” Moore said. “The most important goal that everyone in authority has is to work for peace. I believe that China and the United States, two countries with a friendship, can be an example to the rest of the world.”
In Moyer’s letter, he said that the Flying Tigers mean much more than the two words. Moyer recalled how the Flying Tigers and Chinese troops and people fought attackers together.
“China and America were allies at the time, great friends, and together the invaders drifted from land and sky,” Moyer said in the letter.
“So, too, we should look at that relationship as an example of how our two countries worked together to overcome a major challenge,” he said.
On April 9, the photo exhibition Remembering Heroes held in memory of the 80th anniversary of the flying tigers and the history of the US Air Force in China during World War II at the National Air and Space Museum.
The event was organized by the US-China Aviation Heritage Foundation, the US-China Friendship Association and the Asian Pacific American Public Affairs Association. It was co-sponsored by the Chinese Embassy in the United States.
Qin attended the opening ceremony and gave a speech. He said the story of the Flying Tigers is a tribute to the achievement of China and the United States in fighting side by side; the Flying Tigers fought alongside the Chinese military and civilians for the justice and destiny of mankind, and their bravery and sacrifice will always be noted on the victory flag of China’s war against Japan.
Moyer and Moore introduced Qin to custom-made Flying Tiger pilot leather jackets at the event.