Jump to main content block
People from Various Sectors Attending the 823 Artillery Battle Memorial Service in Kinmen

People from Various Sectors Attending the 823 Artillery Battle Memorial Service in Kinmen
Sep. 1, 2016
By Chen Guanlin, reported from Jinhu

A memorial service was held yesterday (the 31st) at the Taiwu Mountain Cemetery to mark the 58th Anniversary of the 823 Artillery Battle and commemorate soldiers killed during the bombardments. Magistrate Chen Fuhai and Kinmen Defense Commander General Hau Yizhi officiated the ceremony. Vice magistrate Wu Chengdian, County Council Speaker Hong Liping, Deputy Speaker Xie Donglong and all the directors of various bureaus and departments also attended to pay respects to those who lost their lives during the battle. A one-minute silent tribute to the dead was held and the atmosphere was solemn.

The Kinmen Defense Command normally holds the memorial service on Aug. 23. However, as the event would have overlapped with the Han Kuang Military Exercise in Taiwan and the Lianxin Artillery Drill in Kinmen, it was postponed until yesterday. Magistrate Chen Fuhai and Kinmen Defense Commander General Hau Yizhi officiated the ceremony. Around 70 veterans who had participated in the battle also came from Taiwan to attend the solemn ceremony and commemorate their fellow combatants who fell during the battle.

The old veterans arrived at the cemetery early in the morning. They had partaken in the 823 Artillery Battle and will never be able to forget this island. These old heroes who had fortunately survived the battle flew back to Kinmen and visited the Martyr Shrine in the Taiwu Mountain Cemetery yesterday. Standing in front of the tablets of those who lost their lives and the Memorial Monument, many of them eventually were unable to control their emotions and started sobbing.

Magistrate Chen Fuhai and Kinmen Defense Commander Hau Yizhi also arrived at the shrine. Magistrate Chen first shook hands and chatted with every one of the old veterans. When the memorial service commenced, Magistrate Chen and Commander Hau officiated the ceremony. They led the old veterans as well as officers and soldiers from the Kinmen Defense Command to pay respects to the deceased inside the shrine and in front of their tombs. Everyone stood in a silent tribute. The atmosphere was solemn.
Magistrate Chen also took the opportunity to express his highest respect for all the soldiers in the country as it would soon be the Armed Forces Day on Sep. 3. He specifically pointed out that Kinmen had a very special meaning for many soldiers. Besides thanking those who sacrificed their lives to protect Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, he also extended his gratitude to the one hundred thousand soldiers who contributed to the economic prosperity of Kinmen during the era when there were more military personnel than local residents on the island. He recalled that, back then, whenever there was a holiday, the streets were packed with soldiers and they got long well with civilians. It was a time to be remembered. The days of armed conflicts were gone and the number of military personnel had been greatly reduced as a result of disarmament, but soldiers continued to be on the front line to help civilians clean up their homes after natural disasters, such as typhoons and floods, hit the island, Magistrate Chen pointed out that the goal of Kinmen today was to develop into a cross-strait medical care platform and free economic pilot zone. It was no longer an “anti-communist outpost.” He hoped Kinmen could become a connecting point between the two shores and help develop the two sides into better homes for people to live. Aug. 23 was a historic moment and a day for people to be thankful and remember the ruthlessness of warfare and damage it could bring. People should pursue peace and hope there would be no more war. Moreover, Kinmen should never be turned into a battlefield again. That was the heartfelt wishes and expectations of all the people in Kinmen. Only “staying away from war and pursuing peace” would bring win-win for both sides of the strait.

Kinmen Defense Commander Hau Yizhi said that standing in front of the Martyr Hall and facing the brave spirits that had been on the battle field 58 years ago and the surviving old soldiers recalling the cruelty of war and fighting side by side with their fellow combatants back then, he understood that the peaceful and prosperous life we had today could never have happened without the devotion and sacrifice of the old heroes. Such spirit and mentality were what we ought to remember and learn when we paid highest respects to those fought hard and gave their lives for the country.

  • views:1196
  • Date:2016-12-08