The 108th Double Ten National Day ceremony yesterday in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei featured performances from immigrants to Taiwan and air force flybys.
The morning’s ceremony was divided into three parts: a prelude with an inspection of the armed forces, celebration assembly and theme performances, with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) delivering her national day address at about 10:25am.
Father Edmund Ryden, himself a citizen of the Republic of China (ROC), sang the national anthem and a 30-member chorus of Southeast Asian women dressed in the national costumes of Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines were accompanied by Japanese pianist Azusa Fujita.
During the national anthem performance, two CH-47SD heavy-lift supply transport aircrafts carried large national flags over the gathering and five AT-3 trainer jets released colorful plumes as they flew past the Presidential Office Building.
The flyby also featured a group of indigenous defense fighter (IDF) jets, showcasing the government’s development of domestically made aircraft.
A total of 317 foreign guests invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were in the reviewing stands, along with more invited by other agencies.
Photo: Maurice Tsai, Bloomberg News
The ministry’s guests included 194 from the Asia-Pacific region, 22 from the Asia-Africa region, 33 from Latin America, five from North America and six from Europe, as well as 24 foreign journalists and 33 people who attended the Yushan Forum in Taipei earlier this week, ministry data showed.
Following the ceremony, a parade of marching bands, floats, schools groups and representatives from allied nations marched past the Presidential Office Building.
More than 20 members of the Japan-ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council took part in the parade for the first time, along with a group of Japanese students studying in Taiwan.
They were joined by representatives from Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, including Eswatini, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Belize, Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Guatemala, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The parade of 23 elaborately decorated floats, with the theme “The Parade of Taiwanese Heroes,” began at 11:40am and proceeded from Aiguo W Road to Liberty Square, where thousands were waiting for them to arrive.
The floats featured athletes who participated in the Naples Summer Universiade, the U-18 Baseball World Cup, WorldSkills International and the players who are to take part in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 tournament, a qualifier for next year’s Olympics.
This year’s slogan was “Be Brave and Confident; Perseverance Will Win.”
WBSC Premier 12 national team manager Hong I-chung (洪一中), pitching coach and former US Major League Baseball pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民) were also in the parade as the procession reached the “Hero Valley” on Guanqian Road, where people waving national flags greeted the parade and confetti was thrown.
“Confetti is definitely the most memorable part. The feeling when you see confetti all shoot up is really unparalleled,” said Lin Chien-hsin (林建新), a winning contestant in the category of Carpentry at the 2019 WorldSkills Competition in Kazan.
“My first National Day parade experience has turned out to be completely different from what I imagined. I thought the crowds would have been cold, but they were incredibly loud and cheerful,” said Yang Ting-yu (楊婷喻), a gold medalist in the category of Car Painting at the WorldSkills Competition, adding that “although it was a pity that we did not have closer interaction with the crowds.”
More than 6,000 Taiwanese expatriates living overseas returned home to take part in this year’s celebrations, the highest in three years, the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) said yesterday.
A total of 6,188 expatriates applied through the OCAC to attend this year’s festivities, the council said. This year, the most came from the US — 1,557, the council said, adding that expatriates from as far away as Nigeria, Namibia, Colombia and Russia also attended.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Those who returned had a slew of events from which to choose this week, ranging from the parade in Taipei yesterday morning, to the fireworks display in Pingtung County scheduled last night and a float display at Liberty Square that runs through Sunday.
A laser light show is also going to be held in front of the Presidential Office Building at night over the weekend.
Meanwhile, military personnel stationed on the Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) celebrated by staging a flag hoisting ceremony, photographs released by the air force on its Facebook page showed.
Additional reporting by Lin Chia-nan and Dennis Xie
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
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