Nantong to restore tomb of war-time hero
An old picture of the tomb and memorial hall of Cao Ding [Photo/ntfabu.com]
The Nantong culture and tourism bureau recently announced that it will restore the tomb of Cao Ding, a war-time hero known for his resistance against Japanese aggression during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Cao was born in Yuxi ancient town, Tongzhou district, Nantong in 1513 and worked at a local salt production plant before enlisting in the armed forces in 1553.
He demonstrated remarkable courage and a warrior's spirit in several battles protecting Tongzhou and the Yangtze River and won great respect from civilians and soldiers alike. However, he refused to accept any government awards for his efforts.
In April 1557, as Cao led an army into battle, he fell from his horse and was killed by the enemy at the age of 44.
The locals, overwhelmed by grief, wrote biographies of him and buried him at the eastern foot of the Langshan Mountain.
Zhang Jian, a famous local industrialist and renowned academic, expanded Cao's memorial hall and renovated his tomb between 1919 and 1921. He also wrote a pair of couplets for the memorial hall and built a statue of Cao to pay tribute to the national hero.
The memorial hall was demolished in 1965 to make way for urban roads, while the tomb, statue, and two gingko trees remain.
Due to poor management in recent years, the historical site has been covered with graffiti and overwhelmed by hawkers. A series of measures were taken to protect the site, but proved ineffective.
The local government has now decided to thoroughly restore the tomb and rectify management of the surrounding area in an effort to give the noble warrior the respect he deserves.