Mainland scholars have kept up calls to the nation's top legislature to make May 12 a national memorial day. Wang Jianping of Sichuan University made an appeal on Thursday to the National People's Congress to nominate a national day of mourning to mark the magnitude 8 quake in Sichuan province , the Huaxi Metropolis News reported. In his letter, Professor Wang said the top legislative body had a responsibility to urge people around the nation to commemorate the disaster, which had left about 88,000 people dead or missing. Several other scholars have called for a national day of mourning for the country to express its respect for the victims of the quake. 'We have no formal memorial days for the extraordinarily serious natural disasters of the past, including the Tangshan earthquake of 1976, the catastrophic flooding of the Chang Jiang [Yangtze River] in 1998 and the snowstorms of 2008,' Professor Wang said. 'But we can't neglect taking action this time.' He said an annual day of mourning would not only commemorate the victims and celebrate the national spirit of fighting disasters, but would be a good time to provide nationwide education on how to get through another disaster. The professor's appeal has been widely supported by internet users. Many netizens expressed hope that the appeal would attract the government's attention. 'We do need this national memorial day to mourn the victims. We should never forget the lesson,' Luo Bihua , a Guangzhou clerk, said in a posting. A Shenzhen information-technology engineer said: 'We should set up fixed activities for each May 12. 'On that day, the government should have an earthquake drill at every school and public building to make the state more prepared. 'The government should send out expert teams to monitor and prevent any possible quality problems in school buildings. 'If we had an official memorial day we could expect less damage and fewer deaths during the next catastrophic earthquake.'