A memorial service for former first lady Soong Mayling (宋美齡), also known as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, will be held at St. Bartholomew's Church in Manhattan on Nov. 5, her family said on Monday.
Taiwan's representative office in New York -- the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office -- was expected to issue a press release on details regarding the memorial service yesterday.
Soong's body is being kept at the Franklin E. Campell funeral home and her family is considering choosing a day during this week to open her coffin for public viewing. Meanwhile, her family plans to invite 1,000 people to the funeral.
Soong died at her New York home on Friday, at the age of 105.
Former premier Hau Pei-tsun (
"Her contributions to the ROC can hardly be epitomized by a grand funeral," Hau said.
Many of Soong's relatives, friends, former aides and proteges have flown to New York to pay their respects and assist in funeral arrangements.
Meanwhile, President Chen Shui-bian (
Chen has instructed that all national flags will be flown at half-mast on the day of Soong's funeral. Moreover, Chen will issue a posthumous commendation in honor of Soong for her contributions to Taiwan, particularly in the diplomatic field.
When Chen pays his respects, he will present a large national flag to the Soong family that can be draped upon the coffin at her funeral.
As Chen will leave New York for Panama Nov. 2 to attend the Central American country's Nov. 3 centennial celebrations, he will not attend the memorial service.
Soong led a reclusive life at her Manhattan home for much of her later life, after her husband died in 1975.
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