Over the past 17 years a number of the former Taiwan POWs - and many of their family members, have returned to be with us for our Remembrance Day service in Taiwan.
The ceremony takes place every year in November on the weekend closest to the 11th and is held in the Taiwan Prisoner of War Memorial Park which is located on the site of the former Kinkaseki POW Camp in Jinguashi. In addition to the former POWs and their family members, we are joined by local friends and supporters and those wishing to remember and pay tribute to the men to whom we owe a debt that can never be repaid.
In 2009 six former Taiwan prisoners of war came back to take part in remembering former times and to honour their mates who did not return. It was the last year that so many of the men were with us, and our good friend and staunch supporter Chen, Hsiao - Fang recorded the event in a wonderful slide show presentation.
We invite you to watch this typical Taiwan Remembrance Day ceremony and to experience the feelings of those who gathered to remember the men who suffered as POWs in the camps here in Taiwan in World War II.
The ceremony starts off with speeches from the Taiwan PoW Camps Memorial Society, the Commonwealth and Allied government representatives, the ROC Veterans Affairs Commission, and also features readings and remembrances from the former POWs and family members. In addition, a message and prayer of remembrance are rendered by the Society's chaplain.
Then the wreath-laying ceremony takes place with wreaths being laid on the POW Memorial by the former POWs, other allied and Taiwanese veterans, the Commonwealth and Allied government representatives, the ROC Veterans Affairs Commission, the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society, the POW wives/widows, and the family members - the children and grandchildren.
Finally, the Ode of Remembrance is carried out with the playing of the Last Post, two minutes silence and Rouse (Reveille). Every year we also have a piper who plays to open the ceremony, during the laying of the wreaths, and at the close of the service. This video features the playing of "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes.
We hope that this slide show will cause you to pause, remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by these veterans of a different kind of war. For them it was fought - not on the front lines, but as prisoners of war, and their courage, strength and determination to survive - and to help their mates survive, should be an inspiration to us all.
We invite local friends and supporters - and anyone wishing to honour and pay tribute to those men who "gave their today for our tomorrows", to join with us every November for this very moving event. Details are always listed on the homepage of our website so please refer to that for more information. We hope that you will join us this November!