President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday attended a memorial service for Nora Sun (孫穗芬), the granddaughter of Republic of China (ROC) founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙), and expressed deep sadness over her death from injuries sustained in a traffic accident in Taipei.
Nora Sun, 73, suffered severe impact to the chest and abdomen in the car crash in Taipei on Jan. 1, which resulted in multiple trauma, lacerations of the liver and massive internal bleeding. After surgery at a Taipei hospital, she was reported to be in stable condition at one point, but her condition deteriorated suddenly on Jan. 29 and she died later that day.
Ma said it was regrettable that Nora Sun failed to win her battle for life and had succumbed to her injuries after nearly a month of intensive medical treatment.
“Although I had never met her in person, I feel deep regret and heartfelt pain at her death,” Ma said in a speech at the memorial service held at the Tien Educational Center in Taipei.
As this year marks the centennial of the ROC, Ma said Sun Yat-sen’s ideals of building a constitutional democracy that would uphold his Three Principles of the People have been realized in Taiwan.
“I believe our national founding father would have found comfort in our achievements,” he added.
In the future, Ma said, the ROC will continue to play the role of peacemaker, humanitarian aid donor, promoter of cultural exchanges, creator of new high-tech business and bellwether of Chinese cultural development.
Nora Sun’s three sons, as well as many other senior Taiwanese government officials, including Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) and Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), were present at the memorial service.
Her remains were cremated at Taipei’s Second Funeral Parlor on Feb. 23.
Nora Sun, who lived overseas, came to Taiwan to visit the Taipei International Flora Expo. She was heading to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to take a flight to Hong Kong when the car she was traveling in collided with another vehicle on the Jianguo Overpass in Taipei City, according to police.
She was in the back seat of the sedan, which was being driven by a friend. Police said the driver of the other car was probably speeding.
Sun’s grandfather was the spiritual leader of the revolts that eventually overthrew the Qing Dynasty — China’s last imperial dynasty — in 1911 and led to the establishment of the ROC.