TAIPEI–Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) choked up several times during a 9-minute talk marking the anniversary of the 228 Incident on Sunday after completing a 520-kilometer bicycle ride down Taiwan’s western coast.
Ko set out on the journey from the Fugueijiao (富貴角) Lighthouse in New Taipei on Taiwan’s northernmost tip in a drizzle at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday.
He arrived at the Eluanbi (鵝鸞鼻) Lighthouse on Taiwan’s southernmost tip in Pingtung County at 10:02 a.m. on Sunday.
The mayor said that as a descendant of a victim of the 228 Incident, he wanted to commemorate the day in a different way (his bicycle ride). Ko expressed hope that people could learn a lesson from the tragedy, step out of sadness and move forward together toward a more tolerant society in the future.
Speaking in Eluanbi, Ko said his presence at a memorial ceremony at the 228 Peace Memorial Park in Taipei on Feb. 28 last year was the first time he had attended such an event in his capacity as Taipei mayor.
The 56-year-old Ko choked up with tears again while mentioning his father. He said his father was always brought to tears during ceremonies marking the anniversary of the 228 Incident, and, Ko, as his son, did not know how to help his father deal with the grief.
Replacing the tears of hate with sweat, Ko said he wanted to usher in a more tolerant, more forgiving, more loving society for the future.