BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Public
Security (MPS) held a group wedding ceremony for 100 police couples in an MPS
building in the capital on Thursday.
Meng Jianzhu, Minister of Public Security, extended his best wishes to the couples, who met their spouses in the line of duty at local police stations across the country.
"Marriage is the happiest time of life. On behalf of the Ministry, I wish you all sweet marriages," Meng said.
The move is also believed to add some color for the city which is embracing the Olympic Games, at which police will perform heavy duties.
Liu Zhijun, a groom from Huan County in northwestern Gansu Province, said: "We feel honored and fortunate to be here and to receive wedding blessings."
Meng told the couples that "it is not so easy to act as policemen. In order to guarantee the peace and stability of our nation, we have to often work overtime, suffer injuries and even sacrifice our lives."
MPS statistics released in November showed that 2,717 police died in the line of duty in the past six years, with about 29,000 others injured.
Cui Wei, another groom, attended the ceremony in a wheelchair. Cui was a local policeman from Tong Ren Region in southwest Guizhou Province. He was injured during a fire fighting mission on Dec. 5, 2007.
"My wife and I come from a remote area and we never dreamed of such a day in our lives. I would like to thank Mr. Meng for his invitation, his kindness and his care for us local police," said Cui.
After having photos taken with the newlyweds, Meng said: "To get married and form new families is like having a car refueled at a gas station. I hope you all will carry on your work with greater passion and devotion."
The MPS also entertained these couples with an evening banquet.