Exhibition shines light on Chinese workers' contribution in building US railway system

China Daily | 2017-09-12 08:03

Exhibition shines light on Chinese workers' contribution in building US railway system

Margaret Yee, organizer, Chinese Railroad Worker Descendants Association. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"One day, he dug out a pot of gold from under a tree, but he handed it over to the farm owner without any hesitation," Yee says. "Though living far away from his homeland, he still exemplified the virtues of loyalty and honesty that come from traditional Chinese culture."

Yee described the background of the largest photo at the exhibition. In the picture, hundreds of Chinese workers' descendants are seen standing together at Promontory Summit, Utah, a historical site that witnessed the completion of the first transcontinental railway.

On May 10, 1869, the western section of the US project built by the Central Pacific Railroad Company that hired Chinese workers and the eastern section built by the Union Pacific Railroad Company were connected together after a "golden spike" was driven into the lumber.

Yee says that every May 10, descendants of the Chinese workers pay their respects to their ancestors at the site.

"Without their sacrifice, we couldn't lead a cozy life today. I feel proud of them for their perseverance and ingenuity," she says, adding that she wants more people to know about the greatness of the Chinese laborers who once toiled to build the vital railway and helped connect that country.

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