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77th Anniversary Ceremony of the February 28 Incident, Mayor Lu: Keep moving forward with love and tolerance

Group photo of the representatives of the 228 memorial associations with the mayor
Group photo of the representatives of the 228 memorial associations with the mayor
This year marks the 77th anniversary of the February 28 Incident. Today, the Taichung City Government organized a commemoration of the incident at the 228 Memorial Monument in Dongfeng Park, East District. Mayor Lu Hsiu-yen led the attendees in observing a moment of silence in tribute and laying fresh white lilies at the monument to honor the victims. Mayor Lu, attending this commemoration in person for the sixth consecutive year since taking office, emphasized the importance of remembering lessons of history through honoring those who suffered. She stressed the need to heal historical wounds with love to foster national harmony and societal peace.
Mayor Lu noted that the February 28 Incident was a pivotal event in Taiwan’s history. She stressed the ongoing importance of uncovering and understanding historical truths, as well as the continued need to provide solace to the families of the victims. Today's event, utilizing music for those affected and commemorating the victims, serves as a reminder to learn from history and prevent it from repeating itself. With this year's theme of “Blooming Peace, Boundless Love,” the city government aims to use love to dissolve hatred and move forward hand in hand. Only love can soothe pain and foster forgiveness; only love can help us learn from the past and keep moving forward, so that the country can progress and the people become happier.
Chiang Chi-chen, Vice President of the Legislative Yuan, highlighted the profound impact the February 28 Incident has had on Taiwan and democratic progress over the past 77 years. Easing this collective pain requires continuous learning, as it is a crucial lesson in Taiwan's democratic journey. He urged political figures and parties to approach historical errors with greater humility, sincerity, and dedication, underscoring the necessity of this for a democratic society to advance confidently and avoid repeating past tragedies.
Chen Heng-yu, Chairman of the Taichung City 228 Care Association, remarked that 77 years have elapsed since the February 28 Incident. Despite the government's annual commemoration of the victims, he questioned whether it has genuinely learned from the history. He pointed out an incident in January this year where authorities investigated alleged foreign interference in elections and questioned several local community leaders in Taichung City under the Anti-Infiltration Act. What appeared to be normal interactions with the general public were unjustly treated as acts of treason, sparking widespread concern among the populace.
Chairman Chen further noted Mayor Lu's strong commitment to the well-being of the citizens. In addressing food safety concerns, the city government uncovered the presence of banned leanness-enhancing agents in TSC’s safety pork belly slices, promptly making this information public. However, despite their swift action, the Taichung City Government was blamed unfairly. These two incidents shed light on the authoritarian tendencies within the central government. Therefore, he felt compelled to speak up, emphasizing the need to stand firm when necessary and to overcome fear. He urged everyone not to succumb to fear if they have committed no wrongdoing, and to safeguard the hard-won freedoms and democracy. This is essential for the country to progress and for society to thrive in harmony.
Today's commemoration began with the melodious tunes of La-Pel-Ca Vocal Band and Cosmo Band. Mayor Lu led the attendees in observing a minute of reflection and silence in tribute. She then asked both the families of the victims of the February 28 Incident and the attendees to release peace dove balloons as a symbol of hope. Additionally, they placed white lilies, representing love and peace, in front of the monument. Through this ceremony, they honored the past, sought solace for the pain, and looked towards the future. Mayor Lu urged everyone to value the democratic freedoms secured through the struggles of previous generations, and to demonstrate Taiwan's unity and resilience.
In addition, Deputy Mayor Huang Kuo-jung visited Guoguang Park in Dali District today to pay tribute and lay flowers. Deputy Mayor Huang noted that each year, the city government promotes the ideas of peace, love, and inclusiveness through the commemoration. With 77 years having passed since the February 28 Incident, it's crucial to acknowledge that historical events cannot be erased. Huang stressed the importance of learning from lessons of history and leveraging them to foster unity, while also appreciating the economic progress and social welfare brought by modern democratic freedoms. Acknowledging the courageous deeds of the martyrs of the February 28 Incident, the city government aims to express utmost respect to these great figures through commemorative events.
Deputy Mayor Huang also highlighted efforts towards achieving transitional justice and restoring the dignity of the February 28 Incident victims. Since 1996, the Ministry of the Interior has urged local governments to oversee comprehensive reviews of household registration data. Derogatory terms such as "sedition," "espionage," or "execution by shooting," which were found in the original records, were marked with double strikethroughs by authority. In Taichung City, a total of 561 cases were identified, with 332 cases removed accordingly by authority, and 229 cases found with no pertinent records. However, victims' families have expressed concerns about annotations like "execution by shooting" for treason, even though they've been marked with double strikethroughs, leading to further distress. They implored complete eradication or annotations affirming exoneration. Therefore, the city government has recently communicated these recommendations to the Ministry of the Interior, aiming to provide solace to victims and facilitate the healing process for families, thereby fostering a society marked by enduring harmony and ethnic integration.
Wu Shih-wei, Director of the Civil Affairs Bureau, emphasized the city government's deep regard for the February 28 Incident. Every year, the anniversary ceremony is organized with varying themes aimed at honoring the lives lost during this tragic incident and reminding people to learn from history's lessons while appreciating the economic prosperity and social well-being that modern democratic freedoms have brought. Every year, the anniversary ceremony is organized with varying themes aimed at honoring the lives lost during this tragic incident and reminding people to learn from history's lessons while appreciating the economic prosperity and social well-being that modern democratic freedoms have brought. May the tragic history not be repeated. Let us turn pain into strength, move forward resolutely, and make Taiwan's future even better.
The Civil Affairs Bureau noted that last year, as part of the Taichung City Heart of the South District Project, the city government transformed the 228 Plaza in Dongfeng Park into a civic plaza lawn for the South and East Districts, preserving the park’s historical significance. Additionally, rust removal and repainting of the monument, as well as leveling and tidying of the area around the commemorative plaza and platform in Guoguang Park in Dali District, were carried out last year. These efforts gave a fresh look to the longstanding Dali 228 Memorial Plaza, ensuring its role in promoting education on democracy and human rights continues, fostering an understanding of the importance of democratic peace across generations.
Today's commemoration at Dongfeng Park was attended by Mayor Lu, Vice President of the Legislative Yuan Chiang Chi-chen, legislators Lo Ting-wei and Huang Chien-hao, city council members Liu Shih-chou and Chen Ya-hui, Director Wu Shih-wei of the Civil Affairs Bureau, Director Chen Ta-tien of the Construction Bureau, Director Luan Chih-i of the Information Bureau, Director Lin Ku-lung of the Digital Affairs Bureau, Director Chiu A-chuan of the Memorial Foundation of 228, Chairman Chen Heng-yu of the Taichung City 228 Care Association, and Chairman Liao Ling-hui of the Greater Taichung 228 Association, alongside several district chiefs, household registration office directors, and neighborhood leaders. Council member Lin Pei-han's representative was also in attendance to pay tribute.
Furthermore, at the commemoration in Guoguang Park, Dali District, Deputy Mayor Huang Kuo-jung, Legislator He Hsin-chun, city council members Lin Te-yu and Chang Fen-yu, along with Chairman Liao Ling-hui of the Greater Taichung 228 Association and family members of the February 28 Incident victims, Director Wu Shih-wei of the Civil Affairs Bureau, and others attended. City council members Su Po-hsing and Li Tien-sheng also sent representatives to pay tribute on-site.
  • Data update: 2024-03-06
  • Publish Date: 2024-02-29
  • Source: Press Liaison Division, Information Bureau of Taichung City Government
  • Hit Count: 287
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