Taipei 101 salutes generals who died in helicopter crash

Taiwan’s tallest building honors dead, puts up message of condolence in lights on its exterior

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A message of condolence on Taipei 101. (Taipei 101 photo)

A message of condolence on Taipei 101. (Taipei 101 photo) (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As flags at military institutions remained at half-mast for three days, Taiwan’s tallest building, Taipei 101, put up a message of condolence in lights on its exterior on Friday (Jan. 3) night.

Chief of General Staff Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) and seven other senior officers died when their helicopter crashed in a remote area on their way from Taipei to a military camp in Yilan County on Thursday (Jan. 2) morning, leaving five survivors. As a show of respect, election candidates suspended their campaign and organizations, including the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), lowered their flags to half-mast.

On Friday evening, viewers looking up at Taipei 101 saw the message, “Condolences for the Chief of Staff and the General of the Nation’s Armed Forces, all citizens are your family, thank you for having protected our home,” CNA reported.

The initiative for the message had come from a Navy commander, Liu Chia-chih (劉佳志), who said he felt he had to do something and left the suggestion on Taipei 101’s Facebook page, CNA reported. Liu later expressed his thanks for the Taipei 101 message on the building’s Facebook page.

After the annual New Year countdown fireworks, Taipei 101 had been busy replacing the lighting systems on its exterior. A spokesman said that over the years, it had posted several messages marking important events, and after the crash it had received many suggestions from the public.