Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park, Air Itam (23 January, 2005)
The Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park (GPS: 5.40561, 100.28264), located at the Air Itam Roundabout in Air Itam, is a memorial to the Chinese people of Penang who died under the Japanese Occupation in World War II. The whitewashed obelisk especially commemorates the over 700 who were buried nearby. They consist of martyrs who joined the anti-Japanese resistance movement in China in the 1930s and 40s, mainly Chinese machinery workers from Penang, as well as victims of Japanese atrocities during the occupation.
The Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park commemorates the many who loss their lives under Japanese atrocities during the Second World War. Buried under the memorial are the remains of some 800 incomplete skeletons exhumed from various sites, among them Coombe Hill in Gelugor, Thean Teik Estate, Vale of Tempe and Batu Ferringhi. The remains were cremated and the ashes, in sixty-six bags, were then buried beneath the memorial.
The Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park, as viewed from the base (23 January, 2005)
The Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park is in the form of a 45-foot-tall obelisk. There are 7 steps on each side of the base. This is to commemorate the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which took place on the Lugou Bridge, also called Marco Polo Bridge, about 15 km outside Beijing, marking the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) on 7 July, 1937. The memorial was unveiled by Mr Lim Lean Teng, who served as supervisory chairman of the China Relief Fund, at 11:00 am on 11 November, 1951. The date 11 November was chosen as it was the 33rd anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Today the Penang Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park stands largely forgotten as Air Itam becomes increasingly urbanised and relics of the Second World War are fading from memory. I visited the Penang Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park to document it so that the sufferings and sacrifice of the Chinese people of Penang would not be forgotten.
The Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park, under the canopy of the nearby tree (23 January, 2005)
How to reach to the Penang Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park
The Penang Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park is located at the Air Itam Roundabout. Go along Jalan Air Itam from the direction of George Town to the roundabout, you will find the memorial at 11 o'clock, between the road to Kek Lok Si and the road to the Penang Hill Railway. If taking public transport, Rapid Penang Bus 201 and 204 passes the memorial from Weld Quay Ferry & Bus Terminal and Komtar Bus Terminal.
11 November, 2011: The area around the Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park was upgraded into the Air Itam War Memorial Park with the installation of interpretive plaque and other memorial features.
The Overseas Chinese Anti-War Memorial Park, as viewed from the shaded side (23 January, 2005)
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