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Mon May 19, 12:12 PM ET
PINGTONG, China (Reuters) - From tent cities in Sichuan province to Beijing's Tiananmen Square, sirens wailed and millions of Chinese stood for three minutes on Monday to mourn the tens of thousands who died in last week's earthquake.
The moment of grief was observed across the vast country of 1.3 billion people at 2:28 p.m., exactly a week after the 7.9 magnitude quake that ravaged the southwestern province of Sichuan.
Several thousand people gathered in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, standing silently around a flagpole from which the red Chinese flag waved at half-mast. They burst into chants when the three minutes passed.
In unison, the huge crowd shouted "Jia you! Jia you!," an exhortation that can be loosely translated as "Go! Go!", while punching the air with their fists.
Others shouted out "Long live China!," "Long live Sichuan!," and "Long live Wenchuan!"