Every year on February 28, Taiwan observes 228 Memorial Day. The number “228” symbolizes the date of February 28, when a revolt in Taiwan resulted in the killing of thousands of people. This murder marked the start of the White Terror, during which many more Taiwanese were slain, imprisoned, or died. Memorial Day commemorates the casualties of that heinous time and expresses sympathy to surviving. The occurrences of February 28 are now known as the February 28 Incident or the 228 Massacre. Since then, the Taiwanese government has issued a formal regret for the events of that tragic day. The day is important in the formation of a unique Taiwanese identity, and their appeal for peace on this day acknowledges the country’s enormous loss. However, the message isn’t as far away as it appears because it’s a day that unifies us all through the global perspective of kindness for all people, which transcends boundaries. Taiwan commemorates Peace remembrance Day each year with remembrance services, performances, rituals, and displays.
History of 228 Memorial Day
Taiwan’s government designated February 28 as 228 Memorial Day, also known as Peace Memorial Day.
The origins of Peace Memorial Day can be traced back to a lengthy past of colonization and persecution. After China’s loss in the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895, Japan took control of Taiwan for the next 50 years. The Republic of China (ROC) recovered governmental authority after the Japanese submitted at the conclusion of World War II in 1945.
The Taiwanese were originally ecstatic as they welcomed the end of Japanese control, but this was short-lived. The ROC Kuomintang (K.M.T.) soldiers then looted the Taiwanese. Over time, the government took over quarries and industries and monopolized the production and delivery of critical goods such as paper and tea. The general incompetence and corruption of the K.M.T. government threw the economy into chaos.
The circumstances that led up to the February 28 episode can be tracked back to the postwar era. Taiwan was put under executive authority of the Republic of China after the conflict concluded. Prior to the conflict, Taiwan was governed by the Japanese, who oversaw major industrial growth.
As a result, economic agreements between Taiwan and China were only transitory, awaiting the creation of long-term remedies. However, the Taiwanese quickly became dissatisfied with the Chinese government’s graft and high-handedness, headed by the Kuomintang Party. (KMT). Chen Yi was the Governor-General at the moment.
On February 27, 1947, cigarettes Monopoly Bureau officers arrested a woman accused of peddling cigarettes in front of a tea establishment. Following that, a cop opened fire on a gathering of enraged onlookers, murdering one of them. An angry throng of Taiwanese protested the following morning. They marched to the Bureau first, and when the demonstration proceeded to the Governor-General’s office, security opened fire. The ensuing bloodshed continued several weeks and resulted in hundreds of fatalities. Martial Law was also proclaimed, kicking off Taiwan’s “White Terror.”
On the instructions of Governor-General Chen Yi, the K.M.T. responded with a ruthless assault on March 8. For three days, the soldiers proceeded on a random plundering and murdering rampage, heralding the start of the ‘White Terror.’
Reinforcements from the Nationalist Army came in March of the same year, and the Governor-General ordered the arrest and death of all revolt leaders. This led in the fatalities of approximately 3,000 to 4,000 individuals.
Families of deceased got monetary recompense following Chen Yi’s removal and later death in 1950. Even after martial law was lifted in 1987, the 228 killings remained a highly forbidden subject. Citizens’ organizations banded together over the years to break the stigma surrounding 228. Their efforts were rewarded when President Lee Teng-Hui issued an official regret and designated February 28 as Peace Memorial Day in 1995.
Though the atrocities cannot be undone, the Taiwanese government demonstrated good faith by issuing a public regret. An Act was also passed into law, giving monetary recompense to atrocity survivors.
228 Memorial Day timeline
Start of Chinese Control
Taiwan is put under Chinese rule at the conclusion of WWII.
Thousands of people are murdered by the Chinese government headed by the Kuomintang.
The End of Martial Law
In Taiwan, Martial Law concludes.
Apology and Memorial
Taiwan’s President, Lee Teng-Hui, a survivor of the slaughter, makes a public explanation and proclaims February 28 as “Peace Memorial Day.”
228 Memorial Day FAQs
Is Taiwan a country?
Only a few countries acknowledge Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China (ROC). Officially, it is still a Chinese state, but they continue to push for freedom.
Were victims of the massacre compensated?
Victims of the attack are eligible to recompense under a 1995 Act.
Is English spoken in Taiwan?
Taiwan’s formal language is Mandarin, but English is commonly spoken.
How to Observe 228 Memorial Day
Find out more about the day
The international world knows very little about the cruel 228 Massacre because of systemic suppression. Investigate various Taiwanese sources, blogs, and periodicals to learn more about the 38-year rule of evil, and disseminate this knowledge broadly within your network.
Open up a conversation
Many people are unaware of, or have little knowledge of, the events that led up to the slaughter. Share your expertise with others and commemorate the day by establishing an open conversation place.
Honor those who lost their lives
The lives lost are more than just statistics; they are individuals who have left loved ones behind. Create a tweet in their honor with the caption #228memorialday.
5 Interesting Facts About Taiwan
Only 2.3% of Taiwanese are genuine Taiwanese.
Garbage vehicles in Taiwan, like ice cream trucks in other nations, blast music to notify inhabitants of their presence.
White is the hue worn at burials in Taiwan because it represents mortality.
Three different colonists
Taiwan has been ruled by three distinct countries: China, Holland, and Japan.
Taiwan’s Taipei 101 skyscraper was once the highest in the world until Dubai’s Burj Khalifa toppled it.
Why 228 Memorial Day is Important
It’s a day for remembrance
228 Memorial Day is a day to commemorate and lament the lives lost during this period in history. The day enables the departed’s loved ones to put the sorrow behind them. Without 228 Memorial Day, hundreds of people’s lives and endeavors would be lost. We will never forget their bravery and efforts.
This is an important day in Taiwan’s fight for freedom from the People’s Republic of China. Today, the bulk of the population defines solely as Taiwanese, distinct from Chinese national identification.
History cannot repeat itself
Peace Memorial Day serves as a reminder of what is at risk. Peace requires constant work and conversation in today’s increasingly divided world.
228 Memorial Day dates