Wednesday’s Wonder: 228 Peace Memorial Park

This Wednesday’s Wonder: The 228 Peace Memorial Park in Taipei, Taiwan. 

“What does the pagoda stand for?” I asked my husband. He looked perplexed for a moment and then said: …Only travelers want to know what everything means…

Well, isn’t that the truth. Locals walk by monuments, neighborhoods and parks daily with as little as a glance towards the object in question. It’s become so much a part of the landscape that history and the present melt together to make some kind of living anthropology book.

How easy is it to forget that in our own backyard, race riots from 1992 once (literally) ignited South Los Angeles. Or that the original Muscle Beach was actually located in Santa Monica before it moved to its current location in Venice Beach, CA.

This sentiment isn’t the same for Taiwan. You can ask anyone what the 228 Peace Memorial Park is for and they will know like it happened yesterday.

The entire 228 Peace Memorial Park was the scene of an anti-government incident on February 27, 1947. Taiwanese citizens challenged the National Party in power and the next day, it led to tens of thousands of people being massacred, disappearing and being imprisoned if they were seen as a threat to the state.

It was only until 1995 that the incident got the recognition it deserved in the form of a holiday known as Peace Memorial Day. On February 28, 2011, the incident was further commemorated with a park.

For almost 50 years, it was taboo to talk about the 228 Incident. Now, its concrete sidewalks, statues and wooden pagodas are permanently etched into Taiwan. How fabulously refreshing that with a history older than most European countries, Taiwanese would know and remember every importance. And us travelers, well, we want to know what everything means.

A pagoda at the 228 Peace Memorial Park in Taipei, Taiwain. A pagoda at the 228 Peace Memorial Park in Taipei, Taiwain.

What’s been your favored monument on your travels?

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2 responses

  • I haven’t traveled much yet but its something I plan on doing with our growing family. When we do start traveling I am sure I will have a favorite monument. I agree that when you travel you want to know what everything is or means. Obviously 228 Peace Memorial Park has great meaning. I hear Taiwain is a wonderful place to visit. How long were you guys there?

    • We go there once a year because my husband is Taiwanese. Usually we’re there for one to two weeks around Christmas. Christmas season is amazing there since it’s not all about the buying and mall rat race. I really want to experience the Lunar New Year season, since my husband raves about how amazing it is. =)

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