From traffic-restriction controls to security checkpoints, the preparations for the display have been a major hassle for many Beijing residents. Businesses around downtown were forced to either shut, or saw most customers stay away due to commuting difficulties. But after Thursday’s spectacle, it all seemed worth it. Here’s what some thought: Liu Changhu, 26, security guard - 'Who wanted to watch planes?' I didn’t watch the military parade because I was on duty. My responsibility was to guard the street with a fire extinguisher. It was such a pity. I would love to have watched the honour guards, especially the women guards. Who wanted to watch planes? China is a strong country. I am in no position to judge the parade. Who am I? I am just a security guard. Zhai Ming, 24, website editor in Beijing - 'I am a big fan of war movies' I am in Beijing for a month and don’t have a television or internet. I tried to find an internet cafe to watch the live broadcast but they were all closed. I tried to go to Tiananmen Square but was told a 5km area around it was sealed off. I went to have lunch but restaurants are closed, so I had to buy bread from a store. I have been so looking forward to watching the parade, but I couldn’t, even though I was physically close. It’s a real disappointment. I am a big fan of war movies and this is the first time China had commemorated the end of the anti-Japan war. But I am a college graduate from Xian and for me the pressing matter is ensuring college graduates can find a job. Ren Zhixin, 30, advertising agency employee - 'I was very touched' I am very impressed by the formations, especially the veteran formation. I was very touched to see them on television wiping sweat and tears. The parade showed the army was so powerful but it is for peace. This display demonstrates the military power for disputes such as the Diaoyu Islands. There have been inconveniences such as traffic-control measures, but the parade is a national event and we should be understanding and supportive. Huo Hongwen, 44, IT engineer - 'I watched with my son' I watched the parade with my five-year-old son and explained to him what the formation and weapons were. For the first time, there were honour guards from foreign countries, and it was fun comparing their postures and manners. Some looked very slack. The arms presentation was not so impressive because I have seen some before. The parade has caused some inconvenience for those of us living downtown. I have to visit clients, but could only do so when my car was allowed on the road. The restaurants were closed and for the first time I had to cook. But at least we got some days with blue skies. Those 10,000 factories that had to shut down must have suffered. Those drastic measures have ensured good air quality but it can’t be the new normal. The government needs to strike a balance between the environment and the economy. Sun Chengcai, 28, real estate agent - ' I like the foreign honour guards' The military parade is magnificent and impressive. I like the foreign honour guards. It's new for such a parade [in China] and very meaningful. The air show could have been more exciting. I am very disappointed there were no stunt performances. I lived in Tongzhou district six years ago when there was the parade for the National Day and I climbed onto the roof to watch the planes fly by. Very impressive. In recent days our business has been affected because clients must adhere to traffic-control measures. But it is necessary for residents to be cooperative. Xie Luyan, 33, accountant - ' I watched with awe' This is a very new experience for me – it’s the first time I have seen a parade, even though it is only on television. Some planes flew above our neighbourhood and it was such a strong visual impact. I watched with awe the part where President Xi Jinping inspected the troops and arms. The weapons and troops showed a strong and powerful China and I am very proud. All the inconvenience of trying to get to work was worth it.