President Tsai honors two fallen Marines

President Tsai Ing-wen (right). (Photo courtesy of CNA)

KAOHSIUNG (CNA) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday honored two members of Taiwan’s Navy, who died during a military exercise earlier this month and were laid to rest Sunday.

At a memorial service for Gunnery Sergeant Chen Chih-jung (陳志榮) and Corporal Tsai Po-yu (蔡博宇), Tsai presented the citations of honor to their fathers.

The two members of the Marine Corps were laid to rest with full military honors, their coffins draped with the national flag, at the memorial service at the Republic of China Naval Academy in Kaohsiung.

They were also awarded the Medal of Marine Corps posthumously by Navy Commander Admiral Liu Chih-pin (劉志斌).

After the service, Tsai offered condolences to the families of the two soldiers, who lost their lives when their inflatable boat capsized during a landing drill off Taoziyuan beach in Kaohsiung City on July 3.

Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen also attended Sunday’s memorial service.

On the AIT Facebook page, Christensen paid tribute to the two soldiers, saying they had died in the service of their homeland.

“They epitomized the ideals of Taiwan’s armed forces: selflessness, bravery, and a deep commitment to defend their homeland, even at the ultimate cost,” Christensen wrote.

Another Marine who was on the ill-fated boat, Sergeant Amale Dwkado, remains unconscious in hospital and was taken off life support on July 12.

A wall of messages left by military personnel. (Photo courtesy of CNA)