2-28 Peace Memorial Park is dedicated to the February 28 incident which occurred in 1947. It's meant to remember the lives of the estimated 10,000 to 30,000+ casualties that occurred during these events. While the events surrounding the park are somber, to say the least, it's an important historical landmark that shows the strength of Taipei and its people. It's not a place to gloss over, as it's filled with various sculptures, greenery, museums and exercise areas.
Formerly temple grounds, the park was first created as Taihoku New Park in 1900 when Taipei was still under Japanese rule. It was the first European-style type park of its kind in Taipei. In 1930, the Japanese authorities put up a radio tower in the park. The station was a part of the Japanese propaganda efforts in the local areas. The park would maintain its namesake as Taihoku New Park until 1998 when it became 2-28 Peace Park.
In order to understand what the park memorializes, one must understand the events surrounding the 2-28 Incident. The 2-28 Incident was an anti-government protest in Taiwan which was violently suppressed by the Chinese government. This led to the deaths of thousands, beginning on February 28th. At the end of World War II, control of Taiwan was taken from Japan and given to China, even though China had never ruled over Taiwan before. Locals began to resist Chinese rule, seeing it as corrupt, especially in the areas of economics and politics. This eventually led to a boiling point of violence, where protestors and resistors were fired upon in several different incidences. This led to the seizing of a radio tower that was broadcasting the revolt.
Though the park memorializes a dark time in Taipei, it's an important historical landmark nonetheless. It shows the importance of freedom and the ability to stand up for what one believes in, regardless of the consequences. Spend some time in the greenery and reflect upon these lessons of the past.
Cover image by Allentchang at English Wikipedia is licensed by [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)].