BEIJING, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Top Chinese leaders laid flower baskets at the Monument to the People's Heroes in the heart of Beijing Friday morning to mark the 61st anniversary of founding of the People's Republic of China.
Chinese leaders Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang participated in the ceremony and paid their respects to those who sacrificed their lives to build the nation.
The leaders then walked around the monument as they viewed inscriptions that depict the history of China's modern struggle.
The ceremony is seen as a move to advocate patriotism in a country that has become the second-largest economy after 61 years of development.
The ceremony reminded people that the National Day is not only a holiday, but also the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), said Zhou Qing'an, a Beijing-based news analyst.
The ceremony in Beijing was a promise that the Chinese will not forget their past, while the ceremony for the China National Pavilion Day at the Shanghai World Expo was a pledge for the future, said Zhou added.
The Chinese leadership also presented flower baskets at the Monument to the People's Heroes on the National Day in 2008, the year China hosted the Olympic Games.
Later Friday, China is set to launch its second unmanned lunar probe, Chang'e II. In 2003, it became the third nation to send a man into space.