AIT unveils memorial for US soldiers killed defending Taiwan

Memorial set to honor 126 US service members who died protecting Taiwan

AIT unveils memorial honoring fallen U.S. soldiers. 

AIT unveils memorial honoring fallen U.S. soldiers.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) on Wednesday (Sept. 2) unveiled a memorial inside its Taipei Main Office to honor the U.S. soldiers who lost their lives defending Taiwan since 1949.

Following President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) Armed Forces Day speech, the AIT held a commemorative ceremony to honor 126 U.S. service members who perished while stationed in Taiwan after World War II and the first Taiwan Strait crisis. The memorial, which includes medals and framed certificates conferred to two American officers, Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Medendorp and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Lynn, by former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will be displayed in the AIT's lobby starting Wednesday.

According to Storm Media, Medendorp and Lynn were killed defending Taiwan in 1954 in Kinmen during a Chinese artillery bombardment. The brief military conflict later came to be known as the beginning of the First Taiwan Strait Crisis.

AIT Director Brent Christensen said the medals and certificates will serve to honor all U.S. personnel who support Taiwan's national defense. He also reiterated Washington's determination to exemplify its support for Taiwan.

Christensen pointed out that the U.S. military has commanded troops throughout Taiwan since 1949 to offer assistance to the country's armed forces. He said a combined 30,000 service members were stationed in Taiwan at one point.

Meanwhile, Christensen mentioned that the world is currently facing the threat of new technologies, coronavirus pandemic, and unpredictable climate change. He expressed hope that the U.S. and Taiwan will continue strategic military collaboration and help maintain the security of their societies, reported UDN.

Memorial will be displayed in AIT's lobby starting Sept. 2. (CNA photo)