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2024/3/7
New Perspectives toward 228 Massacre: Pursue an Honest History and Build a Healthy Country

Taiwan Church News

3757 Edition

February 26 ~ March 3, 2024

Weekly Topical

New Perspectives toward 228 Massacre: Pursue an Honest History and Build a Healthy Country

Reported by Lin Yi-ying from Taipei

This year, 2024, marks the 77th anniversary of 228 Massacre, and the “228.0 Commemorative Action” initiated by Nylon Cheng Liberty Foundation and Tsai Jui-Yueh Dance Research Institute has also entered its 8th year of campaign.

Led by Elder Lee Sheng-hsiong, Rev Lin Chon-cheng, and Ms Cheng Chu-mei, daughter of Nylon Cheng, a 228 commemorative parade consisting of more than 60 citizen groups and about 700 people was launched from Taipei Municipal Rixin Elementary School in the afternoon on February 24th.

Pastors of the PCT Presbyteries from Taipei, Chi-Hsin and Tayal was arranged as the first team heading forward to Tianma Tea House, the historic origin where 228 Massacre exploded.

Following the spirit of the “228 Justice and Peace Movement” started in February 1987, the theme of “228.0 Commemorative Action” in 2024 is entitled as “Honest History, Healthy Country”, meaning only honesty can heal historic wounds and create a healthy, democratic and resilient country.

Elder Lee Sheng-hsiong expressed that 228 Massacre made Taiwanese people know the importance of democracy and freedom. Today after so much sacrifices made by our forebears, who insisted to fight for freedom and democracy, Taiwan has become one of the most democratic and free country in the world, Elder Lee said with a sense of comfort.

But now facing China’s constant threats of force around Taiwan, people should stand together to carry on reviewing 228 massacre to avoid the historic tragedy to repeat again. At last he concluded with a calling: “Let God’s peace and joy prevail in Taiwan.”

Ms Cheng Chu-mei expressed her regret that, even though nearly 4 decades ago in 1987, with passionate appeals to love, peace, justice, a group of prophet-like pioneers including Nylon Cheng, Chen Yong-hsing, Lee Sheng-hsiung, and Lin Chon-cheng jointly launched the first public commemoration of 228 massacre in Taiwan, urging Taiwan society to remember 228 massacre, but today still many people do not understand what happened on February 28th, 1947.

She urged Taiwan society to carry on to proceed legal retroaction and historical investigation of 228 massacre, and that the legislature to hold accountable the responsible perpetrators should also speed up.

In addition, Taiwan government shall work harder to implement transitional justice, like removing the authoritarian symbol of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall at Taipei, changing the names of road names such as Chiang Kai-Shek, Sun Yat-sen and etc, she said.

Inviting the crowd of the commemorative parade raising their right hands on hearts to say a pious prayer, Rev Lin Chon-cheng solemnly pledged that the 228.0 Commemoration Action is a resolve by the Taiwanese people to pursue justice and peace in a firm stance.

The team immediately marched towards Tianma Tea House where 228 massacre broke out. Amidst the trumpet sound of the comforting “Amazing Grace”, Rev Lin Chon-cheng held a rose boutique, knelt down and kissed the land, then stood up and placed the rose on the monument. Many people at site were deeply touched and their eyes wet.

The parade then went through the Taipei Branch of the Monopoly Bureau, Taiwan Radio Station, and finally to the historic site of Taiwan Chief Executive’s Office (Executive Yuan, today).

In front of the Executive Yuan, the parade organizer used a meme to present the historic scenes of grieving family members came to collect victim-bodies due to 228 massacre; Wang Yi-kai, Chen Ray-an, and Li Yu-ping read the 228.0 Action Statement in the Taiwanese, Chinese, and Hakka respectively; Pan Hsin-hsing, Wang Wen-hong, and Ouyang Hui-mei, the family members of political victims under KMT rulings, went on stage to call for Taiwan independence, and express that Taiwan does not need a memorial hall for dictators, and etc.

Rev Lin Wei-lian, secretary of the PCT Church and Society Committee, expressed Taiwan society should take 228 massacre inside their bottom-heart and stand together with the victims and their families.

Rev Lin Wei-lian indicated that accompanying the suffered is a Christian teaching, and the design of the “228.0 Memorial Action” is also compliant to Taiwan’s traditional funeral habits and ceremonies, as mourning 228 massacre is an event of national funeral. At the end of parade, under the blessing of Rev Lin Chon-cheng, everyone held yellow periwinkle petals and scattered them on the white cloth specifying the list of 228 massacre victims to bid farewell and remembrance.

Translated by Peter Wolfe


Submitted by:Taiwan Church Press
 
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