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The spirit of Zhang Side December 2, 2020

The spirit of Zhang Side 

Zhang Side (1915-1944) was a soldier in the Guards Regiment of the CPC Central Committee, a force responsible for the safety of Mao Zedong and other senior CPC leaders. He joined the revolution in 1933 and took part in the Long March. In the Autumn of 1944, he and his unit were assigned to burn charcoal in the mountains of Ansai County, Shaanxi Province, to provide fuel for the revolutionary base in Yan'an. On September 5, he and some other soldiers were working on a charcoal kiln when it suddenly collapsed. At the last moment the young Zhang Side pushed a fellow soldier to safety, and he himself was buried and killed.

Zhang Side exemplified the mission of the CPC through his own deeds. Mao Zedong wrote an elegy "Salute to Comrade Zhang Side who died for the people" for a memorial gathering for this loyal soldier, and delivered a speech entitled "Serve the People." He said, "Comrade Zhang Side died for the people, and his death is indeed weightier than Mount Tai." He called on the whole Party and the whole army to learn from him and carry on Zhang's commitment to serving the people wholeheartedly.

The essence of the spirit of Zhang Side is living simply, working diligently, and being ready to die for the people.