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A Victim's Tale Told at 228 Museum

Mayor Ma at the exhibition
Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou attended the opening ceremony for the Chang Chi-lang Memorial Exhibition at the 228 Memorial Museum on October 25. A doctor by profession during the Japanese colonial period, Chang was elected Speaker to the Hualien County Legislature not long after retrocession. He and his two sons were later arrested by the Nationalist police for treason during the roundup after the February 28 uprising and then executed. During his speech, the mayor remarked that the February 28 Incident is a terrible tragedy; as the mayor of Taipei, he has the responsibility and the duty to use everything in his power to shed light upon the facts. It is important to learn from the lessons of the past and to prevent such tragedies from happening again. Ma stressed that Chang never participated in the February 28 uprising. However, he became a victim of the purge conducted by the Nationalist government following the incident. The mayor felt that it was unfair of the government to treat someone like Chang and his sons, who made great contributions to the country, in such a cruel manner. The doctor’s family was so intimidated by the government after the executions that they did not retrieve the three remains for a number of years. Ma recalled that last year he personally visited the tomb of Chang. He could not help weeping upon seeing the quote on the epitaph, “Accompanied by two of his sons, hot blood was spilled upon the fields.” He noted that Chang’s surviving family members never spoke about the incident in public. Mayor Ma hopes that through this exhibition, people will have a better understanding about the tragedy which took place sixty years ago and to appreciate the value of democracy on the island now. More than 100 artifacts and documents will be displayed at the exhibition, including those kept by the family and researchers. The story of Chang’s suffering will be told through correspondence letters, maps, newspaper exerts, and old images.