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Descendants of late U.S. presidents highlight links to Taiwan

Descendants of late U.S. presidents highlight links to Taiwan

Taipei, Sept. 1 (CNA) Descendants of former U.S. presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower said Tuesday in Taipei that they felt a sense of affinity to Taiwan because of their grandfathers' links to the country during World War II and the subsequent years. Mary Jean Eisenhower, Clifton Truman Daniel, and David Roosevelt, said at a press conference that it was a special experience for them to attend the commemorative events in Taiwan to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and they would not have chosen to be elsewhere at this time. "Each of our grandfathers played a vital and interesting" role in the war and the subsequent developments in Taiwan and the rest of the world, said Roosevelt, grandson of late U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. In response to reporters' questions, Roosevelt said he was not invited to the attend the WWII commemorative events in China, but if he had, he still would have chosen to accept Taiwan's invitation because his grandparents had a close relationship with late Republic of China President Chiang Kai-shek (???) and his wife. "So I would honor that relationship," Roosevelt said. Responding to the same question, Eisenhower -- the granddaughter of the late President Dwight Eisenhower -- said that given her grandfather's love for Taiwan and her own love for the island, she said, there was no place she would rather be to commemorate the WWII anniversary. "Taiwan almost feels like a second family to me, not only because of what my grandparents and my parents told me about the country, but also because of my own experiences," said Eisenhower, who is on her ninth visit to Taiwan. "For me, it's logical for me to support the beginning of this friendship that happened so many years ago and several generations ago." She said it is a special experience to attend the commemorative events in Taiwan, because "it represents to me the historical start of a friendship that has transcended generations." Daniel, the grandson of the late President Harry Truman, said he was honored to be able to help Taiwan remember the sacrifices and triumphs in the war. He said that even if he had received an invitation from China, he would have chosen to come to Taiwan because his grandfather had helped defend Taiwan's sovereignty and had defended democracy.
Daniel said that he takes seriously the birthright to represent his grandfather and has been working over the past few years to record stories of survivors of the WWII atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Having heard from people on the Japanese side, it is also necessary to hear the other side of the story from the people who fought against Japan and to learn about their sacrifices, he said, citing another reason behind his decision to come to Taiwan. "Everybody suffers in a war," he said. The three visitors were invited by the Republic of China government to participate in events in commemoration of the ROC's war of resistance against Japan, which was a part of World War II, in which Japan and the other Axis Powers were defeated by the Allied Powers. The visitors were scheduled Tuesday to attend a commemorative concert and the launch of five short videos on the War of Resistance against Japan and the ROC's contribution to the WWII, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. During their visit, they will also present President Ma Ying-jeou (???) with duplicates of WWII documents that were preserved by their families, while Ma will give them commemorative medals. Their three grandfathers provided economic and military assistance to the ROC during the eight-year war against Japan and also during the subsequent Cold War. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-19 13:29 GMT+08:00