Reported by journalists Wang Ming-ta and Cheng Yu-chen in Taipei
To pay respect to the soldiers in ROC Armed Forces who sacrificed their lives in the “Battle of Yijiangshan Islands” 60 years ago, the deputy minister of the Ministry of National Defense, Hsia Li-yan, went to the “Memorial Park for the Battle of Yijiangshan Islands” at the Taipei City Military Cemetery yesterday on behalf of the minister, Yen Ming, and held the memorial ceremony for the patriots, showing the respect and missing toward them. In addition, the Ministry of National Defense will hold “Love and Peace Memorial Ceremony – the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Yijiangshan Islands” today at Zhongshan Hall in Taipei City to miss the loyal spirits of the soldiers who defended the islands, and President Ma and the representatives of the bereaved families are invited to attend the ceremony.
The memorial ceremony yesterday was mainly held by deputy minister Hsia, and he was accompanied by the director of Department of Military Compulsory service of Taipei City Government, Fu Yung-mao, and the director of Cultural and Psychological Warfare Section of the Ministry of National Defense, Yu Tsung-chi. More than 100 representatives of the bereaved families and ROC Armed Forces also attended the ceremony. Deputy minister Hsia first put flowers and bowed at the cenotaph of the patriots, and then he led all people there to mourn and bow for 3 times. After that, he consoled and paid respect to all the representatives of the bereaved families one by one in turn. The whole processes were solemn.
For that General Wang Sheng-ming ordered old, young and pregnant citizens to be escorted and sent to Dachen Islands and to retreat to Taiwan with the ROC Armed Forces before the Battle of Yijiangshan Islands broke out, some people who survived that event also participated in the memorial ceremony yesterday to pay gratitude and respect to General Wang Sheng-ming and the country. Miss Lo Ping-hua, who was born in Zhejiang and was a “female soldier” on Yijiangshan Island and is now 83 years old, indicated that when she was young, she followed the Armed Forces and went to Yijiangshan Island as a family member of soldier. She helped in building bunkers, pillboxes and transporting supplies on the island everyday at that time. She emphasized that it was a time of emergency, and all the soldiers and citizens on the island stuck together without thinking of their differences in identity. “You just pick up a rifle and shoot at an enemy!” She said. Although she was later sent to Dachen Islands for her pregnancy, she cannot forget the heartlessness and cruelty on the battlefield.
Mr. Chen Hsueh-chuan, who was born on Yijiangshan Island and sent to Taiwan before the battle broke out, grew up at Hua-hsing Childrens’ Home. His father was a patriot who sacrificed his own life on Yijiangshan Island, Mr. Chen Ta-chin. He said that he feels gratitude toward the care offered by the country, and he would also like to thank the Armed Forces for holding memorial ceremonies and events every year to promote the heroic deeds done by patriots in the past, with a content of the concept of “Forgetting war is dangerous” at the same time. Mr. Chen Hsueh-chuan emphasized that the youth of the country nowadays are all born with an environment of peace and abundance, and they are mostly not familiar with the military history of our country. He hoped that the Armed Forces can utilize methods like education and events with innovative ways of promotion to express the spirits of great love and loyalty of the Armed Forces to each young person in the country, and thus let young people know the concept of “No country, no home”. After knowing all of the information and spirits, they will study hard to remunerate the country and to devote themselves to the society.