Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Friday, December 18, 2009

Taiwan Medals Recently Awarded to US Military

Vincent A. sent me the following article from the China Times:

Taiwan honors members of US Armed Forces

The Ministry of National Defense presented roughly 600 medals to members of the United States Armed Forces Dec.14, in recognition of the help and support given to Taiwan in the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot.
Approximately 10 representatives from the U.S. Armed Forces attended the ceremony, as did William A. Stanton, director of the American Institute in Taiwan.
“We would like to offer you our great thanks for your magnanimous assistance, given as if to a brother,” said Kao Hua-chu, minister of national defense.
The 600 medals, which carried the words “In commemoration of the Typhoon Morakot rescue operations,” were handed out to all those who participated in the search and rescue operations.
Close to 500 navy personnel were on board the USS Denver, an amphibious transport dock stationed off the coast of Taiwan during the humanitarian mission, said Legislator Lin Yu-fang, who also attended the ceremony.
Other medal recipients included members of the U.S. Pacific Command and the U.S. Seventh Fleet. Military personnel stationed in Japan, representatives of AIT, as well as members of the U.S. Defense Department were also given medals, Lin added.
One officer from the Pentagon made singular contributions to the Aug. 16-17 rescue operations, said Lin. He did not sleep for four straight days, because he had to keep in touch with the U.S. State and Defense departments by day, and at night he had to coordinate rescue operations with USPACOM, the Seventh Fleet and AIT.
The medals have a flag of the Republic of China on them. At first the MND considered including a U.S. flag as well, as a symbol of the friendship between the two nations, Lin said. But the MND thought it would be too sensitive to do so, and in the end decided against it.
“I am sure all the officers and military personnel who wear these medals will feel great pride that they participated in such a noble cause,” the legislator said.
Taiwan and the United States broke off diplomatic relations 30 years ago, and yesterday was the first time since then that Taiwan has ever given any medals to members of the U.S. military. The invitations to the American military personnel were given in secret.

No comments: