Mourning ceremonies for earthquake begin throughout China

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Monday, May 19, 2008

The moment of silence being held in Shanghai

China began mourning ceremonies for the major earthquake that struck Sichaun a week ago throughout the country, including its major cities and diplomatic missions outside the country. The government's State Council previously ordered a three-day period of mourning starting Monday. All Chinese flags were also ordered to half-mast in China and its missions.

All public entertainment was ordered to be suspended, in addition to the Olympic torch relay being suspended by the Ningbo Organizing Committee for the same three days of mourning.

Flag being held at half-mast in Tiananmen Square, Beijing

At 2:28 PM, exactly a week after the initial earthquake, people throughout China held three minutes of silence with heads bowed, and government officials stood outside the government headquarters. Traffic came to a halt and horns were wailed in memoriam of the now at least 34,000 victims, with some officials reporting 50,000 likely dead. Afterwards in Tiananmen Square in Beijing and the provincial capital Chengdu, Sichuan, people held patriotic events with some shouting "Go! Go! China" in an attempt to boost national morale.