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Paying Respect to August 23rd Artillery Battle Veterans

Mayor Ko and guests at the 823 Memorial Park Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je attended the August 23rd Artillery Battle 61st Anniversary Concert today (August 23), where he paid his respect to all the veterans and their family. He commented that the August 23rd Artillery Battle is considered the most important battle of the Taiwan Strait, because Taiwan's victory ensured the peace of the Taiwan Strait and the country's prosperity, therefore he is especially moved by the occasion where everyone can reminisce about the past, cherish the present, and look ahead to the future.

He further elaborated that special thanks is owed to former City Councilor Li Keng Kuei-fang for the creation of the park. The city councilor once told him that there is a need for 823 Memorial Park because 80% of the veterans from August 23rd Artillery Battle are from Taiwan's main island.

Next, he pointed out that his uncle was also sent to Kinmen during the August 23rd Artillery Battle after he graduated from National Taiwan University College of Medicine. After listening to Li Keng, he realized that her advice truly made sense because history has already happened, and despite our different pasts, we are all living in the now and striving towards a common future.

Mayor Ko elaborated that he decided to build the 823 Memorial Park after taking the city councilor's recommendation into consideration. At the time, Li Keng said that she had difficulties in locating an appropriate site to construct the memorial park, so Ko approached the Parks and Street Lights Office Director to discuss potential venues for it. To be honest, it is not an easy task to build such a large park in Taipei City; therefore they looked for existing parks instead and eventually located the current site. He agrees that this is an excellent location because it is adjacent to the National Martyrs' Shrine, National Security Bureau, Ministry of National Defense, and the Headquarters of the Army, Air Force, and Navy, thereby transforming it into a military theme park.

He recalled that when the park was slated for completion in 2016, it was too late to schedule the official opening date for August 23. As a result, the opening was conducted on September 3 instead after working day and night. Thereafter, a simple concert is held on August 23 every year in honor of the warriors who sacrificed themselves to protect their country. Today is no different; besides the concert, tea and snacks have been prepared to allow everyone to participate in the function in a joyous, lighthearted mood while remembering the past. Lastly, he expressed his gratitude to the armed forces for donating their weaponry to furnish the park, thereby endowing it with their unique characteristics. He also thanked the performance groups and city government staff for their contributions, as well as the guests for attending the meaningful event.