“Democracy does not fall from the sky:” Taiwan’s democratic achievements remembered on 228 Peace Memorial Day

President of the Legislative Yuan, You Si-kun (游錫堃) said that he hopes today’s February 28 Peace Memorial Day will revive the historical memories of the Taiwanese people, and let people understand better, and cherish Taiwan’s hard-won democratic achievements.

You took to Facebook to make his plea, after attending today’s 74th anniversary of the February 28 incident. “Democracy does not fall from the sky,” You said.

Comparing recent events in Hong Kong, including the enactment of the National Security Act, with the events of February 28, 1947, in Taiwan, You said that the decisions made by contemporary elites has a profound impact on the lives of future generations.

You said that the people of Taiwan are not born slaves, and will always fight in the face of injustice. Generations of Taiwanese children and grandchildren, every February 28th, should be grateful for the unyielding spirit of struggle of previous generations in consolidating democracy and defending freedom.

President Tsai Ing-wen, Premier Su Tseng-chang, and President of the Legislative Yuan You Si-kun, attend the 2021 February 28 Peace Memorial Day ceremony in Taipei City.
President Tsai Ing-wen, Premier Su Tseng-chang, and President of the Legislative Yuan You Si-kun, attend the 2021 February 28 Peace Memorial Day ceremony in Kaohsiung City. Picture: You Si-kun Facebook.

Vice President attends Lin family memorial service

Vice President William Lai (Lai, Ching-te/賴淸德) attended the annual February 28 Lin family memorial service at the Yi-Kwang Presbyterian Church in Taipei City this morning. The church was built on the site of the former Lin family residence, and was founded to provide religious services to families of political victims.

The Lin family’s home was the site of a murder that saw the mother of pro-democracy provincial assemblyman Lin Yi-hsiung, and his two 6-year-old twin daughters massacred in cold blood on February 28, 1980. Lin Yi-hsiung was held in jail at the time, and despite his home being under tight surveillance by the government security apparatus at the time of the murders, no suspect has ever been arrested.

William Lai attended a ceremony at the Yi-kwang Church in Taipei City, February 28, 2021. Picture: Lai Ching-te Facebook.

Speaking at the ceremony, Lai said that the February 28 incident was the most tragic event in Taiwan after World War II, causing an entire generation of elites in Taiwan to disappear. To consolidate and deepen democracy, we must not turn back.

“We must protect Taiwan’s sovereignty and we must never return to the era of autocracy,” Lai said.

After attending today’s ceremony, Lai thanked the Yi-kwang Church in a Facebook post and said that at this time every year, Taiwanese society ponders what attitude it should take in the face of such historical events. Besides reconciliation, it is more important to learn from history and to respect each other with love, tolerance, and support. This is the only way that we can together forge Taiwan into a more reconciliated, just, and united country.

Cover Picture: You Si-kun Facebook page.

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