As I had written last year in “Taiwanese-Americans: Do You Know What 228 Is?,” today is the 61st anniversary of February, 28, 1947 – better known as “228.” AFP reports this historic moment in “Taiwan marks 1947 massacre anniversary“:
“Less than a month before Taiwan’s presidential elections, the island’s political leaders rallied supporters on Thursday to honour thousands killed in a 1947 crackdown by nationalist troops…The February 28 massacre came following riots sparked when a Kuomintang inspector beat a female vendor in Taipei for selling untaxed cigarettes. Chiang [Kai-Shek] — then fighting a civil war against Mao Zedong’s communists in China — ordered nationalist forces from the mainland to crack down on the riots which were spreading across Taiwan, and a killing spree ensued. The massacre remained taboo for decades under Chiang’s rule. He died in 1975 after ruling the island for 26 years. It was not until 1995 that then KMT president Lee Teng-hui made the first official apology. Parliament later agreed on compensation for the victims and made February 28 an official holiday.”
“2/28/47” is an unforgettable act in modern Taiwanese citizen’s consciousness that should never be forgotten.