Tuesday, February 28 marks the 70th anniversary of the 228 Incident, a series of mass protests ended by violent suppression by the newly arrived Nationalist (Kuomintang) government. Academics put the number of deaths somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000.
President Tsai Ing-wen will give a speech on February 28 to mark the occasion and will present letters of rehabilitation to the victims and their family members.
Cities and counties islandwide will hold various events to mark the occasion. The head of the 228 Memorial Foundation, Hsueh Hua-yuan, said the 70th anniversary is more international than before. There will be a memorial service in Los Angeles and Hsueh said the foundation is planning an international symposium. The first French-language book about the tragedy is also set to be published.
Hsueh said however that the commemoration is for more than healing the wounds of the past. More importantly, he said it is about the future.
“We cannot bring back the people who sacrificed [their lives], but we the living must remember the lessons of history. Through making historical facts clear and holding [the perpertrators] accountable, our most important goal is that such a tragedy may not happen again," said Hsueh.