We’ll have to stop by this place sometime. Click the link for the full story.
We wanted to do something to commemorate and teach the boys about Memorial Day this year, so we started checking around to see if there were any World War II memorials nearby. Taiwan was a Japanese colony at the time of WWII, and there were several POW camps here during the war. American pilots shot down over the island and Allied troops captured in other locations around Asia were held here, usually in brutal conditions where death by disease, malnutrition, torture, or forced labor was common. Some estimate that 1 in 3 POWs in East Asia died while imprisoned, compared to 1 in 20 in Europe.
We discovered that a number of American airmen shot down over Taiwan were treated as war criminals (not POWs) and held at the old Taipei City jail in brutal conditions. Near the end of the war, 14 of them were given a mock trial and executed in the prison courtyard. The prison was torn down years ago but parts of the original wall were preserved as a historical site, and last year a plaque was dedicated to the memory of the American servicemen who were killed there. When we mapped out the site so we could visit it, we were surprised to discover that it was less than 10 minutes by bike from our home. In fact, we drive past it every week on the way to church, and eat at a restaurant across the street frequently. For 2 years we have been passing the site several times a week and never knew of the great sacrifice that was made there for our freedom.
This picture is at the site and was snapped by Morgan Everett.