Saturday, February 28, 2004

Today was a glorious day: sunny and warm but not too hot, perfect weather for strolling about outside.

On this day in 1947, aggrieved Taiwanese protested the KMT government for its corruption and failure to govern. In response, the KMT government launched a reign of terror, when between 10,000 and 20,000 people were killed. The '2-28 Incident,' as this event is called today, decimated Taiwan's intellectual elite.

At noon on this day in 1980, masked assailants broke into the home of Lin Yi-hsiung. Lin Yi-hsiung was in jail at the time as a political prisoner for his role in the Kaohsiung Incident. His mother and twin 6-year-old daughters were stabbed to death. His eldest daughter managed to survive 6 stab wounds.

This morning, I attended an annual memorial service for the Lin family murders. It's moments like these that I realize how much some people have lost when they have stood up for what they believed in. I realize how privileged is my life, and how my daily concerns are trivial in comparison.

This afternoon, I joined hands with over a million other people forming an island-long human chain in the '228 Hand-in-Hand Rally', an event that honors the victims of KMT rule and focuses on Taiwan's relationship with China. The event is also expected to increase support for President Chen Shui-bian's re-election. An incredibly exciting, once-in-a-lifetime moment.

A celebration of peace, and of triumph over sorrow, marked by perfect weather. A glorious day, indeed.

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