Ma honors vets for 2nd Sino-Japanese War victory
President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday honored veterans who took part in the R.O.C.’s victory over Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War 70 years ago with commemorative medals.
Stressing that tens of thousands of R.O.C. soldiers and citizens died during the war with Japan from 1937-1945 — the bloodiest and largest war in the history of the Chinese people in defending an invasion force — Ma noted that one must always remember history.
“While historical mistakes may be forgiven, historical truths must not be forgotten,” Ma said, adding that Taiwan must make sure that a similar war will never happen again.
Ma made the comments during a graduation ceremony held at the R.O.C. Military Academy in Kaohsiung yesterday.
During the ceremony, Ma gave commemorative medals to 25 representatives in honor of their sacrifice.
The 25 veterans were the first to receive a first batch of a total 6,000 commemorative medals to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the R.O.C.’s victory over Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
The latest commemorative medal is an exact replica of the one issued by the R.O.C. government in October 1946, according to the Defense Ministry.
The background of the medal is a view of the March Polo Bridge, also known as the Lugou Bridge, (
) to commemorate the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, or the July 7th Incident ( ), a battle between the R.O.C.’s National Revolutionary Army and the Imperial Japanese Army on July 7, 1945 that is often seen as the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War.
A portrait of former R.O.C. Presi- dent Chiang Kai-shek is on the medal to commemorate his contribution to the victory, the ministry said.
Chiang served as chairman of the National Military Council of the Nationalist government of the R.O.C. and led the country to victory in the Second Sino-Japanese War, it noted.
Yesterday’s graduation ceremony was attended by more than 1,000 military cadets from the Army, Navy and Air Force academies, as well as from the National Defense University
and National Defense Medical Center.
Joining the ceremony were nine military cadets that have previously graduated from military academies in the United States.
The nine, including four women, had previously been chosen by the R.O.C. Army, Navy and Air Force academies, in 2011 to study overseas in America.
They were the Army’s Wang Ling-erh ( ) Hu Ching-wei (
), the Navy’s Chung Min-hung ( ) and the Air Force’s Tseng Chin-min ( ) who studied at Virginia Military Institute; the Army’s Chen Chia-ying ( ) who studied in Norwich University; the Navy’s Tsao Yi-ching ( ), the Air Force’s Fang Ya-fang ( ), the Army’s Liang Ting-wei ( ) who studied at the Citadel; as well as the Army’s Lee Yu ( ) who studied at West Point.